Fishing Smacks

HENRY KING TAYLOR (worked 1857-1869)


Height - 18.00inch (45.72cm)
Width - 30.25inch (76.83cm)
Framed Height - 25.50inch (64.77cm)
Framed Width - 37.50inch (95.25cm)


Fishing Smacks






Flourished 1857 – 1869 Signed & dated ‘58
Oil on canvas 18 x 30 ¼ inches
Framed size 25 ½ x 37 ½ inches

Henry King Taylor was a London painter of shipping and coastal scenes. He lived at Hammersmith, Notting Hill, Sloane Street, Covent Garden, Pall Mall and Tichbourne Street between 1859 and 1867, a restless artist he obviously spent much time traveling to and from the coast. He exhibited 6 paintings at the Royal Academy from 1859 to 1864. He also exhibited 24 paintings at the British Institution from 1857 to 1867 and 31 at Suffolk Street as well as 15 pictures at other leading venues. His work has become well regarded and sought after in recent years; his style is vigorous but also shows excellent draughtsman ship and perspective and he clearly understood the sea and how to paint it.
A sea piece by Taylor entitled ‘Entering port with a fresh breeze’ was exhibited in the Art Union of Great Britain June 1861, Drawing Competition and as awarded a prize. The following extract from a newspaper report of that year (1861) shows that his talents were appreciated at that time: ‘Mr Taylor is at home upon the water and knows all about sails and cordage. Hence his ships are rigged as they should be, they stand off or on, or lie before the wind in a natural way, and the waves play around them or dash against their bows as things that are endowed with life. This familiarity with ocean and shore life and the perfect truthfulness of delineation characterize all Mr Taylor’s paintings. Look at this sloop, how gracefully she bends in the wind, tacking in her last reach to the harbour mouth. The water curls up before her bows and glances swiftly away as she cuts through the waves’.

Bibl: 19th Century Marine Painting by Denys Brook-Hart
Dictionary of Sea Painters - E.H.H Archibald
Victorian Painters – Christopher Wood
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