Feke, Robert

Feke, Robert

(fēk), c.1705–c.1750, early American portrait painter, b. Oyster Bay, N.Y. He practiced in Newport, R.I., New York City, Philadelphia, and Boston. He probably studied in Europe for a time, but soon developed a very personal painting style. His best-known portrait of Isaac Royall and his family (Harvard) shows the influence of John Smibert. His masterpiece of characterization is the portrait of Rev. Thomas Hiscox (1745; The Breakers, Newport, R.I.). His works are noted for their charm and elegance of costume. There are portraits by him at the Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence; Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine; and the Redwood Library, Newport, R.I. Feke disappeared at sea in 1750.

Bibliography

See study by H. W. Foote (1930).

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Feke, Robert

(?1705–?50) painter; born in Oyster Bay, N.Y. He was painting in Boston by 1741, and specialized in portraits. Influenced by John Smibert, he was an acclaimed formula painter, who was noted for his use of color and his depiction of textiles. His painting trademarks include women with similar faces and men who dominate the background, as seen in Isaac Royall and Family (1741).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.