Rev. John Peers

John Taylor (1738-1838)


This is a finely drawn half-length portrait of a young gentleman in a ‘staring wings’ toupée. Over his coat and buttoned waistcoat he is wearing an academic gown and bands and is depicted standing in a classical setting with his arm resting on a stone parapet.

An inscription on the back of the frame names him as ‘Revd. John Peers, Aged 23’. He was a graduate of Merton College, Oxford. The Peers family were prominent landowners in Oxfordshire, the family seat being at Chiselhampton House. The Spectator for March 2, 1855 included an announcement of his death – ‘On the 23d [Feb.], the Rev. John Peers, A.M., Perpetual Curate of Lane End, Bucks ; in his 84th year’.

Plumbago on vellum housed in the original oval giltwood frame. The frame has not been opened; there is some unobtrusive brown spotting in the sky area.

The son of a London customs officer, John Taylor studied at St Martin’s Lane Academy before moving to Oxford where he made a career of painting portraits of the undergraduates and academics. He exhibited at the Royal Academy and the British Institution between 1780 and 1838 and was in his 99th year when he died.

Item Ref. 5465

Size: framed, 173 x 149mm (6¾ x 5¾")

Provenance: Sotheby's, London March 1982; New York Private Collection