Allegory of the Franco-American Alliance, ca. 1778
Photo by Peter Harholdt, 2004
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Photo by Peter Harholdt, 2004

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The scene is a seaside quay, with a ship riding at a distance, its sails billowing in a rising storm. The central figure group on the beach is Franklin and Louis XVI. Franklin is receiving an overflowing cornucopia from a cherub leaning on the King's shield. Louis is issuing orders to three officers. On the left of the quay, Hercules raises his club to swat at a groveling British lion that had begun attacking a maiden (the United States?) seated behind a wrapped package of supplies addressed to Philadelphia.

At the right front of the scene, Neptune and Vulcan confer over the manufacture of war materièl. From the clouds a harpie and a figure bearing a firebrand descend toward the scene. In the distance, lightning strikes a city (presumably London).

Title in French: Franklin obtient de Louis XVI envoi d'une armée pour secourir des Etats-Unis d'Amérique, (roughly) "Franklin receives from Louis XVI a dispatch of arms and men to aid the United States of America."

Connection to Franklin
Historical/allegorical scene depicting Franklin Terms of Use Credits