Samuel T. Taylor (c. 1806-1846)
Oil on canvas in reproduction frame.
45.5 x 34.5
Original canvas inscribed: “H.E. Perkins/3 years old last Oct/March 1845.
Samuel Taylor was an itinerant portrait painter working primarily in piedmont Virginia with a distinctive portraiture style particularly evident in the construction of facial shapes. Little is known of Taylor, although a good number of paintings have been attributed to him. His commissions came primarily in the Piedmont along the James River Basin and somewhat further west. His canvases have an unusual preparation and his stretchers are crude, betraying his lack of formal training. Yet, he was still able to capture the spirit of his subjects. As seen here, he inserted a dove into several of his young female portraits using it as a device to indicate the purity and innocence of girlhood.
Harriet Perkins was the daughter of Powhatan Perkins (1807-1885) of Louisa County, Virginia.