Benjamin Franklin - Item #202
Each piece is custom finished. Depending on a sculpture’s texture and level of detail, the look of a patina can vary. A slight variation in color from order-to-order is to be expected.
Unless otherwise noted, our reproductions are hand-cast in plaster and reinforced with burlap, fiber strands, and/or metal rods for extra strength.
FLAT WHITE: A unified, matte white finish. This is the optimum patina for cast drawing as it allows focus on form.
WHITE PATINA: A white finish with a light ivory tone added to the top surfaces.
LIGHT ANTIQUE PLASTER: A soft mixture of whites, grays, and yellows to replicate the look of an aged plaster cast.
ANTIQUE PLASTER: A dramatic mixture of grays and yellows to replicate the look of an aged plaster cast.
BRONZE: A rich brown finish with golden highlights to replicate the look of bronze.
STONE: A mixture of lighter tones to resemble natural stone.
DARK STONE: A mixture of darker tones to resemble natural stone.
SANDSTONE: A soft base color with warm highlights to resemble the look of natural sandstone.
TERRA COTTA: A variation of warm tones to resemble terra cotta.
ASSYRIAN STONE (Applies only to item numbers 3, 4, 5, 6 and 738): A two-tone patina augmenting the shallow relief sculpture and its stone texture.
TANAGRA PATINA (Applies only to item numbers 317, 318, 319, 320, 800 and 813): A finish that replicates the colors of the Tanagra figurines as shown in the product images.
26 Inches High x 13.5 Inches Wide x 13 Inches Deep
Counting on Franklin's popularity to sell the pieces, Houdon created two busts of Franklin, beginning with this one in 1778. At the time, Franklin was the American minister to the court of Louis XVI, a position he would hold until 1785. This life-size portrait is considered to be the best depiction of Franklin, a stunning fact considering that he never sat for Houdon. It was also the first bust Houdon created in what would be a series of American portraits. The bust, in many variations, was widely reproduced. Two original marble copies with slight differences are located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Pennsylvania.
Artist: Jean-Antoine Houdon
Museum: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY and The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania, USA
Time Period: Modern- Neoclassical, 1778
1911 Catalog ID # - 5446A
"Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)." The Metropolitan Museum of Art, https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/208578.
"Bust of Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)." Philadelphia Museum of Art, https://www.philamuseum.org/collections/permanent/90227.html.
Hirayama, Hina. "Busts of Franklin and Lafayette by Jean-Antoine Houdon." Acquired Tastes: 200 Years of Collecting for the Boston Athenæum, edited by Stanley Ellis Cushing and David B. Dearinger, The Boston Athenæum, 2006, pp. 261-265. Boston Athenæum, https://www.bostonathenaeum.org/about/publications/selections-acquired-tastes/busts-franklin-and-lafayette-jean-antoine-houdon.