Images of Franklin

Benjamin Franklin ImagesImages4

No commoner in the eighteenth century posed for as many portraits as Benjamin Franklin, a noted art historian once observed. Indeed, the numerous painted, sketched, and printed images that Benjamin Franklin posed for offer rich insights into 18th century America and its change as a growing nation.

Franklin is well known as a man of unlimited talent—and his many portraits portray nothing less. The ambitious printer and publisher shown in Robert Feke’s 1746 portrait gives way to the man of science in David Martin’s 1766
London painting. Franklin carefully selected his simple clothing and wise, philosophical air in the images that artists captured during the revolutionary era. Finally, we see Franklin after he returned to the United States of America as the founding father, the sage, the man of ideas.

We are deeply grateful to the American Philosophical Society for their willingness to allow us to include their unparalleled collection of Franklin images for our website. Be sure to visit their databases to view the many images of Dr. Benjamin Franklin.


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