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Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin
Artist
Joseph Siffred Duplessis, 22 Sep 1725 - 1 Apr 1802
Sitter
Benjamin Franklin, 17 Jan 1706 - 17 Apr 1790
Date
c. 1785
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Stretcher: 72.4 x 59.7 x 3.8cm (28 1/2 x 23 1/2 x 1 1/2")
Frame: 92.7 x 80 x 8.3cm (36 1/2 x 31 1/2 x 3 1/4")
Topic
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Seating\Chair
Benjamin Franklin: Male
Benjamin Franklin: Literature\Writer
Benjamin Franklin: Politics and Government\Statesman\Colonial Statesman
Benjamin Franklin: Politics and Government\Congressman\Continental congressman
Benjamin Franklin: Politics and Government\Statesman\Colonial Statesman\Signer of Declaration
Benjamin Franklin: Science and Technology\Scientist
Benjamin Franklin: Politics and Government\Diplomat
Benjamin Franklin: Society and Social Change\Philanthropist
Benjamin Franklin: Science and Technology\Inventor
Benjamin Franklin: Crafts and Trades\Printer
Benjamin Franklin: Politics and Government\Government official\Postmaster
Portrait
Place
France\Île-de-France\Ville de Paris, Départment de\Paris
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
Object number
NPG.87.43
Exhibition Label
Born Boston, Massachusetts
During his time, Benjamin Franklin was the most famous American in the world. He remains highly visible today as the face on the $100 bill; this portrait was selected as the basis for that engraving in 1995.
Franklin represented colonial interests in England from 1757 to 1775. Upon his return, he was unanimously elected to represent Pennsylvania at the Second Continental Congress. Behind him was a lifetime of achievement as a printer, an unsurpassed author of wit and wisdom, an inventor, and a scientist. Ahead were his roles as a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a member of the Constitutional Convention. In between was his triumph as a diplomat in France (1776–85), where this portrait was commissioned by Madame Brillon de Jouy. In a letter, she praised Franklin for his sound moral teaching and lively imagination but found his “droll roguishness” most endearing.
Nacido en Boston, Massachusetts
En su época, Benjamin Franklin fue el estadounidense más famoso del mundo. Hoy todavía está muy presente con su imagen en los billetes de $100, y fue este retrato el que se usó como base para ese grabado en 1995.
Franklin representó los intereses de la colonia en Inglaterra entre 1757 y 1775. A su regreso fue elegido unánimemente para representar a Pensilvania en el Segundo Congreso Continental. Tenía tras de sí una vida de logros como impresor, autor de ingenio y sabiduría sin par, inventor y científico. Más tarde sería uno de los firmantes de la Declaración de Independencia y miembro de la Convención Constitucional. Mientras tanto, triunfó como diplomático en Francia (1776–85), donde Madame Brillon de Jouy encargó este retrato. En una carta, ella elogió a Franklin por sus sensatos consejos morales y su viva imaginación, si bien por otro lado habla encantada de su “graciosa picardía”.
Provenance
Sitter; gift to Anne Louise Boyvin d'Hardancourt, Mme. Brillon de Jouy [1744-1824]. Her descendant Gilles de Carpentier, Toulouse; sold through (Meredith Frapier, Paris) to NPG 1987
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition
2022 Rehang of Out of Many: Portraits from 1600 to 1900
On View
NPG, East Gallery 140