Portrait bust of Benjamin Franklin (Houdon - NPG), ca. 1778
Photo courtesy of National...
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Photo courtesy of National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

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The portrait of Franklin is directly related to that shown at the Salon of 1778, with one exception: the manner in which it is mounted on the round socle that displays it. Rather than looking forward, as do the terra cotta from the Louvre, or the marbles from the Met or the Philadelphia Museum, it is positioned to give Franklin the appearance of looking downward, as though reflective.
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