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Inscription

falsely signed and dated, lower left in red paint: R.F. Pinx / 1748.

Provenance

(Rose M. [Mrs. Augustus] de Forest, New York); sold 29 September 1930 to Thomas B. Clarke [1848-1931], New York, as a portrait of Judge Foster Hutchinson by Robert Feke;[1] sold by Clarke's executors to (M. Knoedler & Co., New York), from whom it was purchased 29 January 1936, as part of the Clarke collection, by The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh; gift to NGA, 1947.

Bibliography
1930
Foote, Henry Wilder. Robert Feke, Colonial Portrait Painter. Cambridge, Mass., 1930: supplementary note between x and xi.
1970
American Paintings and Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1970: 166, repro., as Portrait of a Man.
1975
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 46, repro., as Portrait of a Man.
1980
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 308, as Portrait of a Man by Unknown [Formerly Considered American].
1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 20, repro.
1992
Hayes, John. British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 297-298, repro. 298.
Technical Summary

The fine canvas is plain woven; it has been lined. The ground is a translucent white with additives that may be chalk with an admixture of white lead. The painting is executed in opaque, smoothly applied layers slightly thicker in the figure than in the background; the forms are broad and generalized, and there is little articulation of detail. The painting has been abraded by solvent action, most noticeably in the background and dark areas. The inscription is evidently of later date since it was painted over cracks and abrasions. There is marked craquelure, but little retouching. The thick, uneven natural resin varnish has discolored moderately.