Joanna Mary Boyce

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Joanna Mary Boyce (7 December 1831 – 15 July 1861), also known by her married name as Mrs. H.T. Wells,[1] or as Joanna Mary Wells,[2] was an English painter of portraits, genre pictures, and occasionally landscapes. She was the sister of Pre-Raphaelite watercolourist George Price Boyce, and was herself associated with the Brotherhood.


Bird of God (1861)

Boyce was born in Maida Hill, London.[3] the daughter of George Boyce, a former wine-merchant who had found prosperity as a pawnbroker, and his wife Anne.[4] At the age of eighteen she entered Cary's art academy, and afterwards worked under James Mathews Leigh, at his school in Newman Street, London. Her first exhibited work was a life-size head, which appeared at the Royal Academy in 1855. In the same year she went to Paris, where she joined the ladies' class in Thomas Couture's atelier.

She spent 1857 in Italy, and in December of that year married Henry Tanworth Wells, (later a Royal Academician) in Rome. Before returning to England, she painted the greater part of The Boys' Crusade, exhibited at the Academy in 1859. Subsequent exhibited works were: The Outcasts, The Heather-Gatherers, Do I like Butter?, La Veneziana, Peep-Bo!, and A Bird of God. This last painting was left complete on her easel at the time of her death.[3]

Boyce died from complications following the birth of her third child, Joanna Margaret, on 15 July 1861. After her death, Dante Gabriel Rossetti described her as "a wonderfully gifted woman"; another obituarist called her a genius.[5]

See also[edit]

English women painters from the early 19th century who exhibited at the Royal Academy of Art


  1. ^ Paintings by Joanna Mary Boyce (Past exhibitions - Tate Gallery, London)
  2. ^ "Biographical details". British Museum. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Bryan,1886-9
  4. ^ Newall, Christopher; Egerton, Judy (1987). George Price Boyce. London: The Tate Gallery. p. 16. ISBN 9780946590773. 
  5. ^ Poë, Simon (24 August 2012). "Homage to Joanna". Apollo Magazine. Retrieved December 1, 2012. 


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