School of Art

Contact Details

School of Art
Aberystwyth University
Buarth Mawr
SY23 1NG

Tel: +44 (0)1970 622460

Fax: +44 (0)1970 622461


Display artist/maker:

John Doyle

Born: 1797   Died: 1868

Printmaker, painter, cartoonist and caricaturist. Father of illustrator James William Edmund Doyle, illustrator and cartoonist Richard Doyle, painter Charles Altamont Doyle, and National Gallery of Ireland director Henry Edward Doyle. Grandfather of ‘Sherlock Holmes’ author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Learned to paint landscapes under Gaspare Gabrielli and attended Royal Dublin Society’s drawing school under John Comerfield, where he began painting minuatures. He was later commissioned to paint equestrian portraits of the Marquess of Sligo and Lord Talbot, the Irish viceroy, and in 1822 he produced six prints entitled ‘The Life of a Racehorse’. He received wider recognition in 1825 when his painting ‘Turn out the Stag’ was exhibited at the Royal Academy. From 1827 he began producing political cartoons, which were issued once a month during parliamentary sessions, and continued for twenty-two years. His works were printed in The Times newspaper, as well as by publisher McLean. He signed his work under the pseudonym ‘H.B’, which he handwrote as a construction formed by two Js and two Ds, his own initials. He managed to keep his identity a secret in this way until 1843. Doyle’s reputation faded towards the end of the 1840s due to his indistinct style and soft humour, however he is still considered a founder of the school of British cartoon satirists which has established the style made famous by Punch magazine. Over 900 of his drawings are housed in the British Museum, London.

Objects in the collections associated with this artist/maker

A Metamorphosis, Surpassing Anything to be Found in Ovid or Poor John Bull Turned into a Milch Cow PR3617 Prints

Church Reform or The Bishop’s Saturday Night PR3616 Prints