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Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), Statesman; signer of the Declaration of Independence

Statesman, scientist and printer; b. Boston, Mass.; in England 1724-26 and 1757-62; published Experiments and Observations on Electricity 1751; FRS 1756; LL.D St Andrew's 1759, DCL Oxford 1762; ambassador extraordinary for the American colonies in London 1766-75 and in Paris 1776-85; returned to America in 1785; president of the executive of Pennsylvania 1785-88.

‘He was fat, square built, and wore his own hair, thin and gray: but he looked healthy and vigorous. His head was remarkably large in proportion to his figure, and his countenance mild, firm, and expressive’ (Deborah Logan, 1868).

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.