Statue of Benjamin Franklin (after Suzanne), mid-19th century
Photo courtesy of The...
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Photo courtesy of The Franklin Institute, Inc.

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Statue of Franklin after the original by François Marie Suzanne, a sculptor of the 18th century French school.

The original two statues are terra cotta (Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Walters Art Museum). In the original, Franklin holds a scroll in his right hand rather than a book. Additionally, the original statue is more articulated than this version -- it has a fluted column and Franklin stands on a stepped base.

Sellers (pl. 29) notes that Suzanne's statue was very popular and many copies were made in marble, bronze, plaster, china, and other metals. Many different sizes were made (miniature to life-size) and slightly different poses and costumes have been used.

The details of this example are created carefully -- the hands are very delicate and slender. There is fine modeling around the vest, showing it pulling and wrinkling from tension. The elbows and shoulders have deep wrinkles. The face is somewhat gaunt.

No maker's mark or signature has been found.

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