Benjamin Franklin, by David Martin, 1767.
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Benjamin Franklin, half-length portrait, seated at table, facing left, reading documents

Credit: Library of Congress

In this 1767 portrait, Scottish artist David Martin presented Benjamin Franklin seated amidst his books  beneath a bust of Isaac Newton; a testament to Franklin’s own eminence as a scientist and man of letters.  In the eighteenth century, Franklin, more than any other American, personified the coming of age of an American identity and an American literary style.

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