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Thomas Coke Ruckle

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Thomas Coke Ruckle
Portrait Painter
Thomas C. Ruckle (1811-1891) was the son of a sign painter, Thomas Ruckle of Baltimore, Maryland. Thomas C. was active in the Baltimore area as early as 1833, and spent most of his life there. From 1839 to 1841, he recevied formal training at the Royal Academy in London. He later worked as a portrait painter in Richmond, Virginia, but also painted landscapes of that region.

    Thomas Coke Ruckle (1808-1891) was born in Baltimore, Maryland.  He was the son of Thomas Ruckle (1776-1853) and Mary Chambers.

    T. C. Ruckle traveled to England, 20 July 1835, to study at the Royal Academy in London.  A copy of his certificate from the Royal Academy of Art, dated May 30th. 1840, was printed in a series of newspaper articles on file at the Maryland Historical Society, entitled, Loungings in an Artists Gallery.

     ROYAL ACADEMY, May 30th., 1840

    "I have the great pleasure in acknowledging the diligent and excellent conduct of Mr. Thos. C. Ruckle, in his progress through the schools of the Royal Academy, and also his ability exemplified in the course of his practice.
    "George Jones, R. A., Keeper.  "To Mr. T. C. Ruckle"

    "This certificate may commend Mr. Ruckle to those who are not judges of works of art, but to those who are, his best commendations are the paintings which adorn his rooms.  In these, a kind of protean power, he had glided into the deep tinting of Murillo, the mild beauties of Dolci, the heavy strokes of Rembrandt, the harmony of Raphael, the expression and grace of Vandyke, and the tulminating beauties of Titian.  His own compostitions and designs discover original genius, and his portraits are faithful and life-like.  We have enjoyed an hour in examining the speciments of his art, and shall look again at an early day."

There are approximatedly 25 paintings listed int he four articles with descriptions.  Article number 3 was not found in the collection.

    According to The Sun, Thursday, 04 July 1839, p. 2 col. 1, "Thomas Ruckle, a young Baltimorean, now in London, is attracting great attention there, in consequence of some very superior paintings he has exhibited."

    Thomas Coke Ruckle was an accomplished painter.  He painted portraits, miniatures and street scenes.  Although his paintings are too numerous to mention I have included a few examples for references.

    He painted "The Ordination of Asbury", a famous Methodist painting.  The painting was assumed to be destroyed in the Fire of Baltimore in 1904 but there were lithographs made by A. Gilchrist Campbell that have been preserved.

    Thomas Coke Ruckle painted "Fairview Inn", the beginning of the National Road West, which is owned by the Maryland Historical Society.  Other paintings by T. C. Ruckle at the Maryland Historical Society include a very good "Self Portrait" of himself, portraits of "Ennols Martin" and his wife "Mary Martin" and a portrait of "An Unknown Woman".

    T. C. Ruckle illustrated "The Methodist Centenary Pictorial Album", by George C. M. Roberts in 1866.  There are 14 of these prints at the Enoch Pratt Free Llibrary in Baltimore, Maryland.

    Thomas C. Ruckle was married to Miranda Richardson, 17 Oct. 1843, by Geroge C. M. Roberts, according to "A Collection of Maryland Church Records, by Henry C. Peden Jr..

    m. 17 Oct. 1843, by Rev. G.C.M. Roberts, Thomas C. Ruckle to Miranda Richardson, dau. of late William Richardson of West River.
American, 2 Nov. 1843

    They had three children as stated in a letter written by T. C. Ruckle, 25 Aug. 1863.

    "In 1843 I married Miranda Richardson who is now living.  We have had two sons and one daughter.  My first son died in 1847 & my daughter died in 1857, leaving me but one son, named Thos. Coke Cassell Ruckle now 13 years old, and at School at the Stauntion Institute for the Mute & Blind, at Staunton, Virginia.  He is afflicted in his hearing-I am engaged in my Profession as Artist, Portrait Painting--Corner of Charles and Fayette Sts., Baltimore.  My residence is on the Frederick Turnpike Road about 5 miles from the city."

    Following are the three children born to Thomas C. and Miranda Ruckle:

1.  Galileo Sebastian Ruckle was born October 8, 1846, according to the Record of Baptisms from June 1, 1834 by Geroge C. M. Roberts.  Galileo died 21 Feb. 1848, according to the Index to Marriages and Deaths in the Baltlimore sun, 1837-1850, compiled by Thomas L. Hollowak.

2.  Rosa M. Ruckle, died at age 5, 26 Nov. 1857, according to Mt. Olivet Baltimore Maryland Caretaker Records, compiled by John J. Winterbottom.  (She is buried in the same lot as her father, (T. C. Ruckle), grandfather (Thomas Ruckle, 1776-1853) and aunt (Elizabeth Ann Ruckle, 1805-1887).

3.  Thomas Coke Cassel Ruckle was born 9 March 1848 and died 6 Nov. 1908.  He too is buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

    Thomas Coke Ruckle died 17, December 1891 according to the following obituary:

Sun, 18 Dec. 1891
Ruckle, Thomas Coke
  d. 17 December, 1891 at his late residence, Rock Glen, near Catonsville, Thomas Ruckle aet. 83 years, husband of Miranda Ruckle, buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

    After Thomas Coke Ruckle's death his wife Miranda moved back to the city.  Miranda died 14 December 1898 and is buried in the same lot with her son, Thomas Coke Cassel Ruckle at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

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