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Early Stuart Portraits Catalogue

Robert Boyle (1627-1691), Chemist and natural philosopher

1632
As a child, an incidental figure in the elaborate tomb erected by Boyle’s father to the memory of his wife in St Patrick’s, Dublin (R. E. W. Maddison, ‘The Portraiture of Robert Boyle’, Annals of Science, 1962, pp 194-96).

c.1660
Drawing by William Faithorne, half-length; Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, from the Sutherland collection (C. F. Bell & R. L. Poole, Wal. Soc., XIV, 1926, p 50, pl.xxxixa; R. E. W. Maddison, ‘The Portraiture of Robert Boyle’, Annals of Science, 1962, pp 155-56; D. B. Brown, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Catalogue of the Collection of Drawings, IV, The Earlier British Drawings, 1982, p 74, no.124, pl.74). Engr. W. Faithorne, ad viv. delin. et sculp., an air pump (invented by Boyle 1659) replacing the landscape view on the right.

1674-75
‘He [Boyle] promised to sit at Mrs Beales’ (Robert Hooke, 20 April 1674 and 1 June 1675 (Diary, ed. H. W. Robinson & W. Adams, 1935, pp 98, 163). Untraced.

1689-90
Painting by Johann Kerseboom, see NPG 734 and NPG 3930.

1690
Ivory by Jean Cavalier, untraced. Cast in brass by C. R. Berch 1729, an example sold Sotheby’s, 21 May 2003, lot 1269, see also R. E. W. Maddison, ‘The Portraiture of Robert Boyle’, Annals of Science, 1962, pp 206-07.

Posthumous
pre-1722
Unattributed painting, half-length, prominently inscribed above ROBERTVS BOYLE; Pitti Palace, Florence (1c77; R. E. W. Maddison, ‘The Portraiture of Robert Boyle’, Annals of Science, 1962, p 157; Gli Uffizi, Catalogo generale, 1981, p 613).

1733
Marble bust by G. B. Guelfi, Royal Collection (C. Giometti, Sculpture Jnl., III, 1999, p 40, pl.19), made for Queen Caroline, for the sculpture garden at Richmond (previously attributed to Rysbrack). Version with Keith Humphris 1989.

pre-1743
Unattributed marble bust, Trinity College, Dublin, presented 1743 (R. E. W. Maddison, ‘The Portraiture of Robert Boyle’, Annals of Science, 1962, p 204, pl.42; A. Crookshank & D. Webb, Paintings and Sculptures in Trinity College, Dublin, 1990, p 151). A plaster bust with the Royal Dublin Society relates closely (R. E. W. Maddison, ‘The Portraiture of Robert Boyle’, Annals of Science, 1962, p 204, pl.43).

pre-1754
Statuette by John Cheere, untraced (Friedman 1974, no.77).

1758
Relief by Isaac Gosset, untraced, presented to the University of Leiden by Thomas Hollis (R. E. W. Maddison, ‘The Portraiture of Robert Boyle’, Annals of Science, 1962, p 205).

c.1775-80
Bust by James Hoskins, untraced. Supplied to Wedgwood. Probably the Wedgwood black basalt bust, of which a single example is known at Trinity College, Dublin (R. E. W. Maddison, ‘The Portraiture of Robert Boyle’, Annals of Science, 1962, p 203, pl.41; A. Crookshank & D. Webb, Paintings and Sculptures in Trinity College, Dublin, 1990, p 24).

c.1775
Wedgwood portrait relief, example in the Art Institute, Chicago (Reilly 1972, p 70).

c.1790
Statuette by Charles Harris (Catalogue of Statues, Bas Reliefs, Bustos, &c. of Charles Harris, statuary, Opposite to the new Church in the Strand, LONDON, n.d.).

1899
Medal by Allan Wyon, Royal Dublin Society (R. E. W. Maddison, ‘The Portraiture of Robert Boyle’, Annals of Science, 1962, p 207; Brown II, p 462, no.3652).

c.1909-18
Stone statue, University College, Dublin. From a plaster model by Oliver Sheppard (R. E. W. Maddison, ‘The Portraiture of Robert Boyle’, Annals of Science, 1962, p 205, pl.44).

Miscellanea
R. E. W. Maddison, ‘The Portraiture of Robert Boyle’, Annals of Science, 1962, pp 210-14, lists further irregular images in stained glass, wood and used as street signs.

Doubtful Portraits
Attributed to Riley, three-quarter length, Royal Society, presented 1875 (illus. C. H. Collins Baker, Lely and the Stuart Portrait Painters, 2 vols, 1912, II, p 28 as by Riley; R. E. W. Maddison, ‘The Portraiture of Robert Boyle’, Annals of Science, 1962, p 183; N. H. Robinson, The Royal Society Catalogue of Portraits, 1980, p 33).

Unattributed painting, three-quarter length seated, from Pitchford Hall; engraved W. Holl (R. E. W. Maddison, ‘The Portraiture of Robert Boyle’, Annals of Science, 1962, pp 186-89).

Unattributed painting, half-length, NG Ireland (644; R. E. W. Maddison, ‘The Portraiture of Robert Boyle’, Annals of Science, 1962, p 190).

Unattributed painting, half-length with open folio in his lap, Wellcome Historical Museum, London (R. E. W. Maddison, ‘The Portraiture of Robert Boyle’, Annals of Science, 1962, pp 190-91).


This extended catalogue entry is by John Ingamells, one of a limited number of entries drafted in 2010 for the incomplete catalogue, Early Stuart Portraits 1625-1685, and is as written then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.