Hans Tegner (Copenhagen 1853 - Fredensborg 1932)
Benjamin Franklin and the kite experiment
inscribed on mount: HANS TEGNER BENJAMIN FRANKLIN; label on verso: The drawing has been loaned out for reproduction in books and periodicals [translation]
pen and black ink and watercolour
230 x 140 mm
This drawing illustrates Benjamin Franklin’s fabled kite experiment, the goal of which was to demonstrate that lightening and electricity were the result of the same phenomenon. A kite with a wire attached to the top was flown near thunder clouds in order to collect and conduct electricity. Electricity passed down the kite’s string to a metal key which produced a spark when the negative charges in the key were attracted to the positive charges in Franklin’s hand.
Hans Tegner was a Danish artist and illustrator best known for his illustrations of literary works, such as Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales and Stories, and his work for the Bing & Grøndahl porcelain manufacturers. Tegner’s clear style and edifying tenor engendered a number of national commissions, including designs for the first 5-Danish krone note in 1898 and the postage stamp.