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Benjamin Franklin Tends his Cacti

8 October, 2010

When the Author saw this Painting at the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin, she instantly recognized Benjamin Franklin in the blurred face and scant white hair.  How odd, she thought, for a 19th Century German painter to depict Benjamin Franklin tending his cactus–a curious and truly random hobby to invent for the man of many talents and, indeed, various and varied hobbies (though his Autobiography mentions a love of Prickly Pears and Peyotes).  On closer inspection and reflection, it becomes very clear that Carl Spitzweg did not paint Benjamin Franklin but an anonymous ‘Pastor as a Cactus Lover’.  Despite her initial disappointment, the Author still rather loves the Painting.

CIMG3295

Der Herr Pfarrer als Kakteenliebhaber by Carl Spitzweg

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