Robert Feke (Attributed)
Oil on canvas; Unframed: H. 50 3/16 in. (127.5 cm), W. 40 1/8 in. (101.9 cm); frame: H. with crest 65 1/2 in. (166.4 cm), 53 1/4 in. (135.3 cm)
Harvard University Portrait Collection (Cambridge, Mass.)
Widely accepted as the earliest known likeness of Franklin, this portrait has occasionally been thought to have been of his brother John, as it descended in his family. Robert Feke –– a painter who worked in Boston, Philadelphia, and cities in between –– portrayed Franklin as a well-to-do gentleman in a traditional pose. Franklin was probably approaching retirement from his printing business, by which time he had already acquired an ample fortune.