Portrait bust of Benjamin Franklin (Houdon - State), 1778
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Photo Courtesy of Diplomatic Reception Rooms, U.S. Department of State

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The portrait shows Franklin facing forward, looking downward slightly. His hair is combed back, and falls to his shoulders. He wears a simple coat, waistcoat and shirt. The bust is cut away at his chest in an arc.

The terra cotta image was cast from the original in his studio by the sculptor, and bears on the back the stamp, "ACADEM/ROYALE/DE PEINTURE/ET SCULPT/HOUDON/SC." Incised on the edge of the right shoulder is "J Houdon f. 1778."

It now stands on a spool-shaped marble base or socle.

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