Object Record

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Catalog Number PA.020
Title Captain Philip Wilkinson
Artist Feke, Robert, circa 1707-circa 1752
Date n.d.
Description Captain Wilkinson (died 1782), was an immigrant from Northern Ireland, who married Elizabeth Freebody. He was associated with Daniel Ayrault, Jr., and participated in sea trade, as evidenced by the ship visible out the window behind him.

Portrait. (Almost identical pose to painting of Henry Collins by Feke). Adult sitting male subject in Colonial dress, midcalf-length, facing left three-quarter turn with left shoulder forward, eyes facing slightly left. He is seated in a high-back reddish wooden chair. His right arm rests on a table at lower left with a grey-blue covering, pen and ink stand, and paper, while his left hand rests on his upper leg. The subject has brown eyes and is wearing a grey wig, light grey coat and dark gray waistcoat and breeches, white shirt and grey stockings (identical to outfit of Ebenezer Flagg and Henry Collins by Feke). His complexion is ruddy and the treatment of his wig is typical of Feke's portraits. His stockings, and the ruffles on his shirt sleeves and neck linen, reflect the fashions of the period. Interior setting with dark brown background behind right side of subject's with a view through window at left of sky, ship and sea.
Object Name Painting
Medium Oil Paint
Material Canvas
Dimensions H-127 W-101.6 cm
Credit line Gift of Catherine V. Allen (or bequest?)
Provenance <1859 - Gift of Catherine V. Allen
Collection Painting
People Allen, Catherine V., 1785-1859
Feke, Robert, circa 1707-circa 1752
Wilkinson, Philip, circa 1704-1782
Notes Contemporaneous carved wooden frame believed to have been made by either Paul Revere (1735-1818) or Samuel Vernon (1683-1737)
1954 Preservation Society of Newport County (ACC Preservation Society); 1969-70 (Oct -May) Wichita Art Museum traveling exhibition "American Paintings from Newport": Wilmington, Delaware; San Francisco, California; Wichita, Kansas; Cincinnati, Ohio; 1992 (4 July-13 Sept) Newport Art Museum "NewPortraits"

Formerly #5 (70 on 1859 list). Henry Collins, Ebenezer Flagg and Captain Wilkinson are all wearing identical outfits. A Mr. Freebody, who visited the Library 26 June 1969, believed there was a matching portrait of Mrs. Wilkinson; whereabouts unknown. This agrees with a note in Mason's Annals of Trinity Church: "Captain Wilkinson married Elizabeth Freebody, daughter of John Freebody, 26 April 1736. She died 24 October 1759, aged 46 years, and lies buried with members of her father's family, in the common ground. 26 October 1763, he married Abigail Brenton, daughter of Jahleel Brenton. He died in 1782. 24 June 1787, his widow married Captain Charles Handy, and died 10 September 1809. She was distinguished for her beauty. Her portrait, greatly admired, long adorned the walls of the Redwood Library, where it was deposited. It is now in California." Annals of Trinity Church by Mason (1: 73) Cosmo Alexander's portrait of Alexander Grant has a frame almost identical to that of Wilkinson. ("Notes" 262) The Cosmo Alexander portrait is now owned by the Art Institute of Chicago (1978); ACC 1977, Frames). For discussion of frames, see Ward (16-20). This painting, previously attributed to John Smibert, was attributed to Robert Feke by Lloyd Goodrich, Director of the Whitney Museum of American Art, and by Morton Vose, 1966 (Minutes Sept 1948).
Related Publications 1972 (Sept) Minutes ; 1969 Samuel King of Newport by Steven (Antiques 96:729); Rhode Island Privateers in King George's War 17839-1748 by Howard Chapin. (opposite 160)