Portrait bust of Benjamin Franklin (Caffiéri - Royal Soc. of Arts), probably 1777
Photo courtesy of Royal...
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Photo courtesy of Royal Society of the Arts, London

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The bust is monumental in scale, larger than lifesize. Its glazed white surface was once painted to resemble terra cotta. Caffiéri depicts Franklin in casual dress, and includes his head, shoulders and upper chest. Franklin looks ahead, his eyelids closed slightly. His brows are heavy. His mouth is closed tightly in a somewhat stern expression.

His coat and waistcoat are not detailed, but are suggested by loose folds of cloth open at the center front. His shirt is visible and his stock is looped loosely in what was to become one of the markers for busts after Caffiéri.

The bust is signed across the arch of the back "BENJAMIN FRANKLIN né a Boston en Amerique le 17 / Janvier 1706. Fait a Paris par JJ Caffieri en 1777." Centered below the inscription is the numeral 3.

Connection to Franklin
Owned by Temple Franklin before 1783.
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