|Portrait of Benjamin Franklin, modeled after the famous image by French artist Joseph-Siffred Duplessis, that followed Franklin's arrival in Europe. Duplessis’ original, which may have been completed with studio participation, was exhibited in Paris at the Salon of 1779. Dated 1778, it is now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Manhattan.
Executed by an unidentified hand, this particular copy softens the wrinkled features of the 72-year-old scholar, inventor, and forefather of America. The quality is excellent and the work is an early one, dating somewhere between 1800 and 1830. Much patriotism was embedded in the spirit of the Federal period in America and the popularity of Franklin endured. This was also true in Europe as well, to the degree that Duplessis continued to paint the image even after the American's death and exhibited another Portrait of Franklin in the Salon of 1801. Colonial images were also very popular as the 50-year anniversary of our independence approached, which occurred in 1826.
Because early, well-executed oil-on-canvas portraits of Franklin are few and far between, this is a particularly nice find.
The fantastic, gilded American molding is period to the work. Both the stretcher and the frame are marked with a historical society or museum number, though the identification of the institution has been lost with the passage of ownership.
Condition: Canvas was humidified and consolidated with a clear agent for support, so that the original back can be viewed. The edge of the canvas only was reinforced with linen, then re-attached to the original stretcher. The surface was cleaned and some old over-painting was removed. A tear, a vertical scratch, and small losses were attended to. The work was done by Lowy in New York and a full report is available. |
Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques, llc
||Phone: (717) 502-1281
||19th Century (1801-1900)|
||See Item Description|
||Frame - 37.25" x 32.25", Work - 30.25" x 24.75"
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