Skip to main content

Portrait of Benjamin Franklin

1778 or 1779
Anne-Rosalie Bocquet Filleul (French, 1752–1794)

Anne-Rosalie Bocquet Filleul painted this portrait of Benjamin Franklin when the two were neighbors in Passy, just outside Paris. That artist and sitter knew each other socially is evident in this casual portrait. Wearing an open-necked shirt and a green, fur-lined dressing gown, Franklin reveals a friendly and slightly vulnerable side, despite his position then as US ambassador to France. With Franklin’s eyeglasses resting on a map of Philadelphia and his open hand gesturing, it appears as if the artist and sitter are conversing.

A miniaturist and oil painter at the French court, Filleul largely ceased painting after her marriage in 1777. The artist’s close association with Marie Antoinette and the French monarchy led to her death at the guillotine in 1794.

Object Details

We are always open to learning more about our collections and updating the website. Does this record contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? Contact us here.

Please note that this particular artwork might not be on view when you visit. Don’t worry—we have plenty of exhibitions for you to explore.