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The Muscarelle Museum of Art online database, a work in progress, currently features highlighted works from the collection. As our digitization initiative proceeds, additional records will become available.

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JAMES WORSDALE (English, 1692–1691) | Portrait of Robert Boyle, 1720 or 1726 | Oil on canvas | Gift of the Third Earl of Burlington | 1732.001
Donated by the sitter’s nephew, the Third Earl of Burlington, in 1732, this portrait of celebrated scientist Robert Boyle was the first work of art acquired by William & Mary. Boyle was renowned for the discovery, later known as “Boyle’s Law,” of the mathematical relationship between the pressure and volume of a gas. Upon his death, funds from his estate at Brafferton Manor in Yorkshire, England, founded the first Indian school in the New World, located at the College and named “Brafferton” after Boyle’s manor house. James Worsdale, a student of Sir Godfrey Kneller, based this work on a 1689 portrait of Boyle by Johann Kerseboom, a German-born artist active in England in the late 17th century and the first decade of the 18th century.
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