Portrait of Abiah Folger Franklin, believed to be 1707
Photo courtesy of Melissa...
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Photo courtesy of Melissa Williams Fine Art

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The image is of a young woman seated in a chair. Her chestnut hair is curled, gathered in a cluster at the back of her neck; tendrils fall on both shoulders. At her neck is a pearl necklace. She wears a dress that appears to be black, with a broad lace collar gathered at the front of the bodice by an ornament. The white lace sleeves of her undergarment show beneath the dress, and are gathered below the elbow. A dark scarf hangs over her left arm and is gathered behind her right hand, which also holds a small book.

The upper part of her full skirt is visible, as is the wooden open back of the chair on which she sits. The background of the portrait is an undifferentiated interior space of warm brown. An unframed opening, representing a window, shows a landscape with a small tree in autumn foliage. According to the history that came with the painting, the foliage was added to the work by Joseph Wright.

The gilded frame below the painting bears the following inscriptions: on the left: "Abiah Franklin"; in the center: "Benjamin Franklin's Mother"; on the right: "by Gerrit Duyckinck 1707."

Connection to Franklin
Reputed to be a portrait of Franklin's mother
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