Closely following Joseph Siffred Duplessis' renowned portrait of Benjamin Franklin, this example is distinguished by its quality and provenance in a prestigious French family. Duplessis' original rendition was executed in 1778 and that offered here appears to date from the early nineteenth century. Along with another likeness of Franklin, this portrait was owned by Isaac Cox Barnet (1773-1833), the American Consul in Paris from 1816 until his death in 1833. Referring to the one of these portraits, a writer for the Boston Daily Advertiser (October 1, 1858), recorded that he had seen the work "thirty years ago in the possession of Mr. Coxe Barnette, at that time Consul from the United States in Paris." It is possible that Barnet purchased or otherwise acquired the portrait during his time in Paris. However, the portrait may have come into Barnet's possession through his wife. According to family tradition, the portrait had long hung in the Chateau de Villiers-les-Maillets, the home of Barnet's wife and her mother, Elizabeth Olympe Felicite Louise Armonde du Vigier, the Marquise de Flamarens (Barnet's wife was the daughter of the Marquise and the Counte de Provence, the future King Louis XVIII). Agesilas Joseph de Grossoles (1732-1818), the Marquis de Flamarens, and husband of the Marquise, may have known Franklin as there is a letter from him in the Franklin Papers at the American Philosophical Society. Furthermore, the Abbe de Flamarens, the brother of the Marquis, was the first to write about Franklin's arrival and popularity in France. For the other portrait of Franklin that descended in the same family, see Charles Coleman Sellers, "Catalogue of the Society's Exhibition of Portraits of Benjamin Franklin," Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 100, no. 4 (1956), p. 376, cat. 19.