Frederick Taylor (1802-1889) 

(John) Frederick Tayler (30 April 1802 – 20 June 1889) was a 19th-century English landscape watercolour painter, and president of the Royal Watercolour Society.

Frederick was the son of a country gentleman, Archdale Wilson Tayler and his wife Frances Eliza, and was born at Boreham WoodElstree, Hertfordshire, on 30 April 1802. Frederick's uncle, Charles Henry Hall, was dean of Christ Church, Oxford, and the boy was educated successively at Eton College and Harrow School, and destined for the church. He soon, however, showed his strong artistic bent, and, in spite of domestic opposition, determined to become a painter.

Tayler's fondness for water-colour was no doubt encouraged by Bonington, and though he made his début in the academy of 1830 with an oil-picture, ‘The Band of the 2nd Life Guards,’ he did not long hesitate in his choice of a medium. In mature life he occasionally turned his ambition towards oil, and even took some friendly lessons in Mr. W. P. Frith's studio (Frith, Autobiography). It was, however, as a painter of ‘elegant’ sporting and pastoral scenes in watercolour that he achieved the popularity which was maintained throughout his long career. His sporting subjects were of two classes, some dealing with the costumes and accessories of eighteenth-century stag-hunts, others with incidents of contemporary sport in the highlands of Scotland. Akin to these were his illustrative drawings of costume and scenery, many of them suggested by incidents in the ‘Waverley Novels.’

Many of Tayler's best known drawings, such as ‘Weighing the Deer’ and ‘Crossing the Brook,’ were engraved. He himself executed some two dozen ‘lithotints,’ which were published by T. McLean in 1844, under the title of ‘Frederick Tayler's Portfolio.’ A member of the ‘Etching Club,’ he etched a number of small plates for the various publications of that body (Goldsmith's 'The Deserted Village,’ ‘Songs of Shakespeare,’ ‘Etched Thoughts,’ &c.), and also made drawings on wood for several popular classics, such as Thomson's ‘Seasons,’ ‘Sir Roger de Coverley,’ and Goldsmith's ‘Works.’ His art, though now somewhat old-fashioned, had a great vogue in his day, some of his drawings fetching over £350. at public auction in the 1900s.

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