The unfinished painting

The long tale of our nation’s birth is riddled with fun and interesting stories. 

This is one of my favorites. 

Benjamin West painted the portrait above.  Or, well, attempted to. He was a Pennsylvania artist and friend with the famous Benjamin sitting in the center chair.  In the painting, Dr. Franklin is surrounded by John Adams, John Jay, Henry Laurens, Temple Franklin (A diplomat and Ben’s grandson).

Those five Americans aren’t just sitting around shooting the bull. 

They’re signing the Treaty of Paris, the document that ended the War for Independence.  

But why isn’t it finished?

The British representation at the treaty would not allow west to paint them. They didn’t quite leave in a huff. But it’s close enough.  They didn’t want to be associated permanently with the document.  

Well, case you’re wondering, here are the names of the missing men: David Hartly and Richard Oswald.  

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The unfinished painting

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