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American Paintings and Sculpture
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Artist: John Trumbull, American, 1756–1843
Subject: William Temple Franklin, American, 1760–1823

William Temple Franklin (1760–1823)


Oil on wood

3 5/8 × 3 1/8 in. (9.2 × 7.9 cm)
Trumbull Collection

This portrait of William Temple Franklin is one of five miniatures painted by John Trumbull in preparation for The Treaty of Peace, an unexecuted painting commemorating the 1783 accord signed in Paris that ended the Revolutionary War. Shortly after publicly announcing his plans for the subject in 1790, Trumbull began to take portraits of the prominent figures involved in the negotiations: Henry Laurens, John Jay, and John Adams, the three American peace commissioners deputized by Congress, as well as George Hammond, who served as the secretary to the British delegation, and William Temple Franklin, grandson of Benjamin Franklin. The nonmarital child of Benjamin Franklin’s son William, William Temple Franklin was adopted by his grandfather and later appointed secretary to the American delegation at the treaty talks.

On view
18th century

Helen A. Cooper et al., John Trumbull: The Hand and Spirit of a Painter (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1982), 135, pl. 66-70.

Helen A. Cooper et al., Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2008), 96–97, no. 39, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.