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Brook Taylor

1 of 17 portraits on display in Room 13 at the National Portrait Gallery

Brook Taylor, probably by Louis Goupy, 1720 - NPG 1920 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Brook Taylor

probably by Louis Goupy
watercolour and bodycolour on vellum laid down on card, 1720
3 7/8 in. x 3 in. (98 mm x 76 mm)
Purchased, 1921
Primary Collection
NPG 1920


Click on the links below to find out more:

Sitterback to top

  • Brook Taylor (1685-1731), Mathematician. Sitter in 3 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Louis Goupy (circa 1674-1747), Miniature painter. Artist associated with 4 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.

This portraitback to top

The mathematician Brook Taylor was the son of John Taylor of Bifrons in Kent. In 1714 he published his solution to the problem of the centre of oscillation, and in the following year he was the first to write on the calculus of finite differences, which contained 'Taylor's Theorem'. Soon thereafter he published Linear Perspective (1715) and New Principles of Linear Perspective (1719), presumably the book he holds in his portrait. Taylor was wealthy, and, as his portrait suggests, was interested in music and painting. The small portrait hanging on the wall is presumably intended to be his first wife, a Miss Brydges. More detailed information on this portrait is available in a National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue, John Kerslake's Early Georgian Portraits (1977, out of print).

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Kerslake, John, Early Georgian Portraits, 1977, p. 276
  • Rogers, Malcolm, Master Drawings from the National Portrait Gallery, 1993 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 5 August to 23 October 1994), p. 33
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 604
  • Walker, Richard, Miniatures: 300 Years of the English Miniature, 1998, p. 57

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