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Robert Feke (Feake)

Birthdate: (45)
Birthplace: Oyster Bay, Queens, New York, USA
Death: 1750 (41-49)
Bermuda
Immediate Family:

Son of Rev. Robert Feake and Clemence Feake (Ludlum)
Husband of Eleanor Feke
Father of John Feke; Horatio Feke; Philadelphia Townsend; Sarah Thurston and Charles Feke
Brother of Clemence Wright; John Feake; Deborah Cocke; Henry Feake; Charles Feake and 2 others

Managed by: Janice Weeks Hollenczer
Last Updated:

About Robert Feke

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Feke

Robert Feke (c.1705 or 1707 – c.1752) was an American portrait painter born in Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York. According to art historian Richard Saunders, "Feke’s impact on the development of Colonial painting was substantial, and his pictures set a new standard by which the work of the next generation of aspiring Colonial artists was judged." In total, about 60 paintings by Feke survive, twelve of which are signed and dated.

Life and career

Little is known for certain about his life, particularly his early years. Only one work by Feke, a portrait of a child, is dated before 1741. In that year he moved to Boston, where he painted Isaac Royall and Family (1741), a group portrait which borrows its composition from John Smybert’s The Bermuda Group (1729). Feke's works also show the influence of John Wollaston.

From 1741 until 1750, Feke worked in Boston, Newport, Rhode Island, and Philadelphia, painting wealthy merchants and landowners. The latest record of his activities is August 26, 1751; suggestions by Feke's early biographers that he died in Barbados or Bermuda have not been substantiated.

Feke's paintings are known for their sobriety and uniformity, but also for their rich colours and painterly boldness.

Works and Gallery

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Feke#Works

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At 24 years of age Eleanor Cozzens married Robert Feke, a member of an old respected family of Oyster Bay, Long Island. While little has been written about Eleanor, Robert, who grew to become one of the premier portrait painters of Colonial America, has had volumes composed describing his life.

The last words about Robert Feke come from the city of Philadelphia where a John Smith wrote in his diary in June 1750, “...We dined at Bror W, Logan’s, after dinner W. L. and I went to Fewke’s the painter’s and viewed several pieces and faces of his painting..,” It has been written that at this time, Feke became ill, and went to Bermuda where he had family, in order to regain his health. Perhaps it is this sickness which caused him to leave the two paintings shown earlier, unfinished. Whatever illness he had was fatal, as his death is generally assumed to have been in 1751 or 52. He never returned to America.

[Clippings from COLONIAL COZZENS by David Livingston, 2011]


http://www.metmuseum.org/works_of_art/collection_database/american_paintings_and_sculpture/Tench_Francis/viewObject.aspx?&OID=20011228&PgSz=1

Columbia Encyclopedia: 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 Reverend 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.

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Robert Feke's Timeline

1705
1705
Oyster Bay, Queens, New York, USA
1743
1743
Age 38
RI, USA
1744
1744
Age 39
RI, USA
1745
1745
Age 40
1747
1747
Age 42
1750
1750
Age 45
RI, USA
1750
Age 45
Bermuda
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