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 Ferdinand Thomas Lee Boyle  (1820 - 1906)

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Lived/Active: New York/Missouri      Known for: portrait and historical narrative painting, teaching

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The son of a British composer, Ferdinand Boyle became a noted portrait painter in New York City and then St. Louis, Missouri.  He also did religious and historical paintings.

Boyle came to America from England when he was eight years old.  He showed early art talent, and his parents arranged for him at age 15 to study with Henry Inman, portrait painter.  The same year, he enrolled in the antique class of the National Academy of Design School.  In 1837, when he was 17, he first exhibited work at the Academy and for the next 20 years was a regular participant.

In 1856, he moved to St. Louis and became one of the founders of the Western Academy of Art, an organization dedicated to education, exhibition and collection.  As a portrait artist, he did not have much competition in that part of the country, which meant he received many commissions including ones from leading citizens.

When the Civil War began, Boyle joined the Union Army and was part of the Fourth Missouri Volunteers.  However, many Missourians were southern sympathizers, and his war sympathies cost him much of his clientele.  In 1865, he returned to New York City and began a teaching career that included the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, 1870-1872 and Chairing the Art Department of Adelphi Academy in Brooklyn, 1874-1877.

Because of devoting so much time to teaching, he was an irregular contributor to National Academy of Design exhibitions.

Ferdinand Boyle died in 1906 in Brooklyn.

Jonathan P. Harding, "Ferdinand Thomas Lee Boyle", Paintings and Sculpture in the Collection of The National Academy of Design, Edited by David Dearinger, p. 62

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