Happy Birthday Joseph Siffred Duplessis!! In 1725, this French portrait painter was born into an artistic family. His first instructor was his father who was a surgeon, as well as a talented amateur painter. After a few exhibitions, he finally received recognition with his showing of ten paintings at the Paris salon in 1769. He considered the social status of his sitter when composing his portraits. His work was known for its clarity and immediacy. Unlike any other, his portrait of Ben Franklin became the lasting impression for posterity of the former statesman.