Sir Robert Taylor

Sir Robert Taylor, architect and sculptor, was apprenticed in 1732 to Cheere, whose Rococo style influenced later architecture. Taylor's sculptoral career began when he was admitted to the freedom of the Mason's Company in 1744. He quickly won the commission for the pediment relief on the newly built Mansion House. This was followed by the Parliament monument for Captain Cornewall.

Taylor's architectural career appears to have begun in 1745 when he built himself a house at 66 Charring Cross. His commissions mainly came from newly wealthy bankers and directors of East India Company. Taylor built a succession of villas and houses that were influenced by Palladianism, examples of which were Harleyford, Buckinghamshire (1755), and Westcombe House, Greenwich.

By the 1770s, Taylor had abandoned the Rococo style as he came into competition with William Chambers. Ceilings such as the Octagonal saloon at Chute (1768) were comparable to Chambers' style. Townhouses soon became Taylor's principal source of wealth and he built more than forty houses. His most famous commission, however, was the Bank of England, London.

Bibliography

Harris, J & Baker, M (2004) ‘Taylor, Sir Robert (1714–1788)’ in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, London)

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