Irish Comics Wiki

"St. Patrick going to Tara", from Mary Frances Cusack's An Illustrated History of Ireland, 1868

Henry Edward Doyle, son of cartoonist John Doyle, was born in Dublin in 1827, and moved to London with his family as a child, but returned to Dublin to be educated as an artist. He had early cartoon work published in Punch in 1944, and drew for Fun from 1967 to 1869, using the pseudonyms "Hen" and "Fusbos".

Through his family's religious connections he gained the patronage of Cardinal Wiseman, whose portrait he painted in 1858, and through Wiseman's influence was appointed commissioner for the Papal States to the London Exhibition of 1862 and a knight of the order of Pope Pius IX. He also painted frescoes in the chapel of the Dominican convent at Cabra, near Dublin.

In 1868 he illustrated An Illustrated History of Ireland: from the Earliest Period by Mary Frances Cusack, and in 1869 he was appointed director of the National Gallery of Ireland, and during his 23 years in the role he acquired religious paintings by artists like Rembrandt, Fra Angelico and Poussin, and promoted an Irish school of art by buying paintings by Irish artists like George Barrett, Daniel Maclise and William Mulready. He also founded the National Portrait Collection in 1884.

He died suddenly of heart disease at his home in Mayfair, London, on 17 February 1892.

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  • Síghle Bhreathnach-Lynch, ‘Doyle, Henry Edward (1827–1892)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 23 Feb 2012

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