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Feke, Robert

Robert Feke (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.

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

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