pastels

This circa 1785 miniature portrait of Benjamin Franklin is set into a gold frame with ribbon surmount. The enameled border is set with enameled urns and a basket decorated with seed pearls.

The portrait is one of five extant versions. The jeweled setting is most likely contemporary and was commissioned so the image could be worn as a pendant. 

Jean Baptiste Weyler painted the portrait as a part of a series of miniatures he called “Panthéon Iconographique”, which included famous men he wanted to preserve for posterity in enamel. Franklin was the most popular of the series’ subjects. The original portrait for which the enamel was based on has not been traced, but it is believed to be a pastel taken from life. #MiniatureMonday

Benjamin Franklin portrait miniature pendant. Weyler, Jean Baptiste, 1747-1791.  Paris, ca. 1785. Enamel, gold, pearls ; oval- ¾ inch high.