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The Taylor Family (Martin Taylor; Ann Taylor; Jefferys Taylor; Isaac Taylor; Isaac Taylor; Jane Taylor; Ann Taylor)

The Taylor Family (Martin Taylor; Ann Taylor; Jefferys Taylor; Isaac Taylor; Isaac Taylor; Jane Taylor; Ann Taylor), by Isaac Taylor, 1792 -NPG 1248 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Regency Portraits Catalogue

The Taylor Family (Martin Taylor; Ann Taylor; Jefferys Taylor; Isaac Taylor; Isaac Taylor; Jane Taylor; Ann Taylor)

by Isaac Taylor
1792
17 3/4 in. x 13 1/2 in. (451 mm x 343 mm)
NPG 1248

Inscriptionback to top

The picture is not signed but on the back of the stretcher in ink is inscribed indistinctly: Ann & Jane ... painted by Father ... May 1792 (last numeral very indistinct).
Also on the back of the stretcher (now in NPG archive) was an old label written in ink:
Ann and Jane Taylor/aged 9 and 7 years/in the garden at Lavenham/Painted by their Father in 179? (last numeral indistinct).
A torn Third Exhibition of National Portraits, South Kensington, 1868 label is also in NPG archive.

This portraitback to top

The picture was painted by Isaac Taylor in his garden at Lavenham, Suffolk, presumably in the year 1792, shortly after the birth of his fifth child, Jefferys, seen held in his mother's arms in the summer-house. At first Mrs Taylor pined for her London life but the Lavenham garden soon captivated her 'and I began to wonder at my insensibility to all its rich profusion on our first arrival.' Ann too remembered it with delight in her old age: '... a small grass plot lay immediately under the window, and beyond were labyrinths of flowering shrubs ... and an open-seated summer-house ...' (Autobiography, I, p 38). A few years later, in 1796, they moved to Colchester (Angel Lane, now West Stockwell Street) where most of their literary work was written. They moved from Colchester to Ongar in 1811. At the time of Mary Gilbert's presentation of the picture to the NPG several copies were made by a family artist, Edith Herbert, a granddaughter of Jemima Taylor. One of these is in the Colchester Town Hall. (Several letters from Mary Gilbert and Edith Herbert are in the NPG archive.)

Referenceback to top

'Ann and Jane Taylor' in The Essex Review, January 1900, reproduced as frontispiece.

Armitage 1939
Doris Mary Armitage, The Taylors of Ongar, 1939.

Gilbert 1874
Josiah Gilbert, Autobiography and Other Memorials of Mrs Gilbert, 2 vols., 1874.

Ritchie 1898
'The Essex Taylors' by J. Ewing Ritchie in The Essex Review, April 1898.

Physical descriptionback to top

Standing in the foreground in white dresses with pink sashes and red slippers are Jane and her sister Ann Taylor, both with fair hair and blue eyes. Sitting in a thatched summer-house in the left background are their parents Isaac Taylor and Ann Taylor (1757-1830), also an author of children's books, holding the baby Jefferys (1792-1853). Playing in front are their other two brothers, Martin (1788-1867) with a toy cart, and Isaac (1787-1865), artist, author and inventor, catalogued in Richard Ormond, National Portrait Gallery: Early Victorian Portraits, 1973, p 446. The scene is set in the Taylor family's garden at Lavenham.

Provenanceback to top

Taylor family possession and given in 1900 by Mrs Mary S. Gilbert, widow of Josiah Gilbert and daughter-in-law of Ann Taylor (Mrs Gilbert), of Marden Ash, Ongar.

Exhibitionsback to top

Third Exhibition of National Portraits, South Kensington, 1868 (800) lent by the Rev. Isaac Taylor.


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Walker, Regency Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 1985, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

View all known portraits for Ann Taylor (Mrs Gilbert)

View all known portraits for Isaac Taylor

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View all known portraits for Jane Taylor

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