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George Washington and Benjamin Franklin

Artist
Unidentified Artist
Copy after
Johann Caspar Lavater, 1741 - 1801
Sitter
George Washington, 22 Feb 1732 - 14 Dec 1799
Benjamin Franklin, 17 Jan 1706 - 17 Apr 1790
Date
1788
Type
Print
Medium
Etching and engraving on paper
Dimensions
Image: 10.1cm x 15.9 cm (4" x 6 1/4")
Plate: 11.1cm x 17.7 cm (4 3/8" x 6 15/16")
Sheet: 12.5cm x 19 cm (4 15/16" x 7 1/2")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number
NPG.77.78
Exhibition Label
This print, depicting George Washington (1732–1799) and Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) facing each other in profile, was published in the Columbian Magazine (Philadelphia, March 1788). However, it was copied from an early edition of the Swiss author Johan Caspar Lavater’s Essays on Physiognomy (1775–78), which proposed a person’s character was evident in their expressions, facial features, and head shape. The magazine’s author quoted Lavater’s analysis of Washington’s silhouetted profile, noting his good qualities and adding, “the original must be distinguished by an indefatigable activity—a man who acts with prudence, and always with dignity.”
Este grabado, en el que se representa a George Washington (1732–1799) y Benjamin Franklin (1706– 1790) enfrentados de perfil, se publicó en la revista Columbian Magazine (Filadelfia, marzo de 1788). Sin embargo, fue copiado de una edición temprana de la obra Ensayos sobre fisionomía del autor suizo Johan Caspar Lavater (1775–78), que proponía que el temperamento de una persona se hacía evidente en sus expresiones, rasgos faciales y en la forma de su cabeza. El autor de la revista citó el análisis del perfil de Washington hecho por Lavater, haciendo refe- rencia a sus buenas cualidades, y añadió: “el original debe distinguirse por una actividad infatigable: un hombre que actúa con prudencia y siempre con dignidad”.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition
2019 Paper Rotations
On View
NPG, South Gallery 240
Exhibition
America's Presidents (Reinstallation September 2017)
On View
NPG, South Gallery 240