Portrait of Benjamin Franklin (Greuze - State), 1777
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Photo Courtesy of Diplomatic Reception Rooms, U.S. Department of State

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Metropolitan Museum of Art, "Benjamin Franklin and His Circle,"(1936)
Related Publications

Rollins, Alexandra, ed., Treasures of State: Fine and Decorative Arts in the Diplomatic Reception Rooms of the U.S. Department of State (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1991) No. 244, pp.387-388, illus.

The portrait is not signed, but was exhibited by Greuze in his studio at the time of its completion. It was created by the artist as the basis for an oil portrait commissioned by Elie de Beaumont, friend of Franklin and fellow member of the Masonic Lodge of the Nine Sisters [Muses], the Loge des Neuf Soeurs.

Kept by Greuze until sometime shortly before his death in 1805, it was sold to the Russian nobleman Nicholas Demidov, and inherited by his son, Paul, at San Donato, Italy, 1828. Inherited by Anatole Demidov in 1840, it was sold at the Paris sale of Demidov's estate (Part IV, Lot 397), to F. Petit. Bought by James Lawrence of Boston, it went to his widow Anna Lothrop Lawrence on his death. Inherited by her son James Lawrence, and his son James Lawrence Jr, it was sold to the Franklin Mint Corporation. They made a gift of it to the State Department in 1973, for the Diplomatic Reception Rooms, where it remains.

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