Portrait of Benjamin Franklin (Caffiéri copy - West?), ca. 1790
American Philosophical...
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American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia

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This portrait sketch on paper in pencil is drawn after the Caffiéri bust, and bears an inscription on the reverse that purports to be by Benjamin West (1738-1820). Analysis may determine without question that the drawing and its inscription are by West; but it was in West's collection. He was gathering material on Franklin's likeness for use in a series of historical paintings. The image appears to have been drawn as an oval, with framing lines drawn around it. The reverse of the sheet bears the words "A Portrait of Benjamin Franklin" and the signature "Benjamin West." The image is framed in wood that is reputed to be from the floor of Independence Hall.
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