He studied with Benjamin West and painted a portrait of the Prince of Wales, later George IV. His first of several portraits of Franklin was painted while he was in Paris at the end of 1781 and 1782, commissioned by one of the British peace negotiators, Richard Oswald. His acquaintance with Franklin got him letters of recommendation which he used on his return to America to get a sitting with General and Martha Washington. He also painted an existing portrait of John Jay. In 1792 he was appointed diesinker to the new United States Mint and is probably responsible for the design of some of the first U. S. coins.