Portrait of Benjamin Franklin (Martin), 1772
Scanned from Sellers,...
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Scanned from Sellers, Benjamin Franklin in Portraiture

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This copy by Martin of his own earlier portrait of Franklin may have been painted by Martin as a studio copy, and was possibly signed by the artist at the time of its sale to John Sargent, Franklin's London friend and banker. It is signed, lower right, "D. Martin, pinxt/1772."

The first Martin portrait was commissioned in 1766 by a friend of Franklin's; the second, in 1767, by the subject himself. This was possibly commissioned after seeing Franklin's copy, and a copy by Benjamin West may have been taken from this, since it was commissioned by this man's London business partner. Across the water in Philadelphia, the painter Charles Willson Peale painted at least one from the version sent home by Franklin; a 20th-century artist copied Peale's copy. Each of the paintings differs in small details from each other; but all are immediately recognizable as stemming from the 1766 portrait.

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