French Sculpture Census

crédits photo : 2009 President and Fellows of Harvard College
© artiste : public domain

CAFFIERI, Jean-Jacques
Paris 1725 - Paris 1792

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

1777 ou après
argent doré

11,4 x 12 x 8 ; sur base, H. 29,2

N° d'inv. : 1943.1074
Credit Line : Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop, 1943.1074

Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard Art Museums


  • 1943, legs de Grenville Lindall Winthrop, New York, au Fogg Art Museum


  • Museum's website, January 21, 2013
  • 1975 Ambler
    Louise Todd Ambler, Benjamin Franklin: A Perspective, exh. cat., Cambridge, Fogg Art Museum, 1975, no. 49; p. 85, repr.


  • 1975 Cambridge, MA
    Benjamin Franklin: A Perspective, Cambridge, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, April 7-September 22, 1975, no. 49


Louise Todd Ambler, Benjamin Franklin: A Perspective, 1975, p. 85:
Franklin's appearance at the time of his French mission is recorded also in two terra-cotta busts: a life portrait modelled by Jean Jacques Caffiéri in 1777 and exhibited at the Salon the following year; and a bust signed by Jean Antoine Houdon in 1778, which was exhibited at the same Salon - 1779 - as the Duplessis painting. The numerous casts taken from each served as models for many artists who produced Franklin's likeness for years to come, not only in marble, porcelain, bronze, and silver, but in virtually all media from engravings to painted cups. Caffiéri was able to arrange sittings with Franklin, and his stern portrait is undoubtedly the more physiognomically correct of the two. [...] Both were reproduced in unglazed porcelain, the Caffiéri with variations, by the royal porcelain manufactory at Sèvres. The very large coat buttons popular in the 1790s, which appear in one version of the Caffiéri, strongly suggest that it was one of the many French tributes to Franklin after his death. A small silver bust at the Fogg Art Museum also derives from the Caffiéri portrait, and appears to be a memorial.