Portrait of Benjamin Franklin: Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky (West), ca. 1816
Photo by Graydon Wood
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Photo by Graydon Wood

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Benjamin West (Attributed)
Oil on slate; H. 13 1/4 in. (33.6 cm), W. 10 in. (25.4 cm)
Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia, Pa.), 1956-132-1
This allegorical portrait of Franklin, celebrating his discovery that lightning is natural electricity, is an oil sketch made by West as a study for a [never executed] larger painting. The figure of Franklin is not drawn from life but is based on West's past acquaintance with Franklin.
Included in BF300 Exhibit.
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