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Mason Chamberlin, the elder

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Mason Chamberlin

British, (1727–1787)
Mason Chamberlin was an English portrait painter, who was one of the founding members of the Royal Academy in 1768. He is perhaps best remembered for his portrait of Benjamin Franklin which shows Franklin seated in his study with lightning striking outside the window in the background, and a lightning rod on his house. He looks to the left at a set of lightning bells (a device of his own invention), which would ring to signal when lightning was striking the rod. Franklin could then use the electricity in order to perform his experiments. Later in 1762 (or early 1763) a popular mezzotint was made after the painting.

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