- Extended Catalogue Entry
after Joseph Siffred Duplessis
oil on canvas, based on a work of 1778
28 in. x 22 1/2 in. (711 mm x 572 mm)
Sitterback to top
- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), Statesman; signer of the Declaration of Independence. Sitter in 8 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Joseph Siffred Duplessis (1725-1802), Artist. Artist or producer associated with 4 portraits.
This portraitback to top
The original version of this portrait was painted while Franklin was in Paris, obtaining the promise of military assistance from the French.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Holmes, Richard; Crane, David; Woof, Robert; Hebron, Stephen, Romantics and Revolutionaries: Regency portraits from the National Portrait Gallery, 2002, p. 103
- Ingamells, John, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, 2004, p. 171
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 228
Events of 1778back to top
Current affairsCatholic Relief Act is the first to provide a measure of catholic emancipation, modifying the penal laws that effectively prevented Catholics from holding public office. The reform is encouraged by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Mansfield, who had balked at various prosecutions under the statutes now repealed.
Art and scienceFrancis D'Arblay, writing as Fanny Burney, publishes her novel Evelina, or the History of a Young Lady's Entrance into the World, in which she satirises contemporary society.
Engineer Joseph Bramah invents a type of flush toilet, replacing the usual slide valve with a hinged flap that seals the bottom of the bowl.
InternationalAmerican War of Independence: France, joining the American colonies in their fight against Britain, sends a large fleet across the Atlantic. The British rapidly abandon Philadelphia. The American naval hero John Paul Jones makes successful raids around the coasts of Britain.
James Cook's third Pacific voyage, aboard the ships HMS Resolution and HMS Discovery, first views Oahu then Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands, which Cook names the Sandwich Islands.