Requires Photography

Benjamin Franklin

English or German
about 1780–90


Dimensions

Legacy dimension: H. 8 1/2 in. W. 6 1/4 in. (with frame, H. 9 1/2 in. W. 7 3/4 in.)

Accession Number

66.252

Medium or Technique

Wax

Not On View

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Sculpture

Relief in wax in original shadow box with back papered with cutting from a German newspaper. Head turned to right and modeled in high relief. Figure shown to waist in contemporary dress, enclosed by cloak draped over left shoulder and holding book in left hand. Ochre figure set against gray green ground with pilaster in low relief inscribed “FULMEN ERIPUIT COELO CEPTRUMQUE TYRANNIS.” (He plucked the lightning from the sky, the sceptre from the tyrants). Realistic and vigorous modeling of facial features combined with deft handling of costume and drapery.

Provenance

By 1966, Henry Gray, Cohasset, Ma; 1966, sold by Gray to the MFA. (Accession date: April 13, 1966)

Credit Line

John Wheelock Elliot et al