Original Bust done in the style of Houdon
Glass Cubes with bust with 3D bust of Franklin etched inside with a laser
Benjamin Franklin was a printer, inventor, scientist, author, diplomat, and statesman. Thomas Jefferson called him "the greatest man and ornament of the age and country in which he lived." Benjamin Franklin went to France in 1776 to negotiate a treaty of alliance between the United States and France and remained as Minister to France until 1785. During this period he became to the French the very symbol of America, the democratic ideal and the American Enlightenment. His wit, simple manners, Quaker dress made him very popular with the French. This popularity increased French support for American independence. Houdons portraits of Franklin done between 1778 and 1790 has become a part of the iconography of the United States.
This original bust done in the style of Houdon shows Franklin in plain, Quaker dress, without shoulders, and rounded at the bottom, as was customary with this abbreviated type. The expression on Franklins face seems to suggest his benevolence, wisdom, humor and his forthright qualities. His eyes appear to look up into the distance. His hair, thin on top, flows down over his ears and shoulders. Houdon emphasized the wrinkles at the corners of his eyes giving his appearance from certain angles a look of weariness and even apprehension. This particular portrait by Houdon demonstrates the fact that, with different lighting and angles, Houdons portraits can be made to assume a wide variety of expressions.In all probability Thomas Jefferson owned this version of Houdons portrait. It is comparable in scale and format to the other three busts of Washington, Lafayette, and John Paul Jones, that Jefferson installed on brackets in his gallery of worthies in his Monticello tea room.