A charming pair of small, early 19th century Scottish portraits, beautifully painted in a naive style yet capturing delightfully the character of the subjects. The man is dressed in a green check, high collared coat or cape with contrasting white neckerchief whilst the lady is dressed in a striking red dress with contrasting white lace collar and patterned shawl over her shoulder. The two pictures are in their original, simply moulded, gilt frames. Interestingly the reverse of each retains the original trade label: "John Taylor, Joiner, Cabinet Maker & Undertaker, Assembly Rooms, George Street, Edinburgh,
House 25 India Street, Auctioneer & Appraiser, Picture Frame Maker & Gilder, Maps Mounted, Packing Boxes Ready Made, House Factor`.* An attractive pair of portraits of interest to a collector of Georgian Scottish art. Circa 1830-40.
The pictures remain in excellent condition although there is some craquelure and a small, negligible loss of paint to the lady near her left shoulder. (see photo)
* John Taylor (1802-53) was born in Milnathort, Kinrossshire. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts in 1842 (
Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, vol. 33, October 1842, p. 411). He advertised frequently and in 1841 announced that he had taken out a licence as an auctioneer, referring to his experience in trade in the previous 17 years. In censuses Taylor can be traced as a cabinet maker living in India Street with his wife Marion and six children. In 1841, aged 39 he was employing 90 men and four apprentices with his eldest son John an apprentice cabinet maker. He offered framed prints, picture frames and cabinet furniture and advertised `prepared canvass, panels, drawing-baords, easels and palettes &c., for Artists`.
Ref: British Artists` Suppliers, 1650-1950, National Portrait Gallery