Portrait of Dr. Phineas Bond (1717-1773)

Robert Feke, American, 1707 - 1752

Made in United States, North and Central America


Oil on canvas

40 x 32 1/2 inches (101.6 x 82.6 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Phyllis Cochran Denby in memory of her uncle, George Bond Cochran, 1963

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Dr. Phineas Bond (1717–1773) was one of America’s earliest physicians. In 1751, five years after this picture was made, he founded Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Hospital with his brother, Thomas Bond, and with help from Benjamin Franklin. Self-taught painter Robert Feke, who is considered America’s first native-born professional artist, created this portrait by combining vernacular and European styles. His compositions are characterized by an elegant sense of design and he often produced strong likenesses. Although his documented works, made in Newport and Boston as well as Philadelphia, are confined to the years 1741–51, they exerted a strong influence on the colonial artists that followed, including such luminaries as Benjamin West (1738–1820) and John Singleton Copley (1738–1815).