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Robert S Tait
Portrait Painter and Portrait Photographer of London
Active 1845-1875

Does anyone have any information on the artist Robert S Tait?  He was a fairly accomplished portrait painter but little seems to be known about him.  Information so far is as follows:

Robert Scott Tait was born in the United Kingdom in approximately 1816.  He was active in London during the middle of the nineteenth century.  As an artist he was most well known for his portraits but also for some of his genre paintings.  He exhibited through the Royal Academy in London, England, from 1845 through 1875, as well as the Scottish Royal Academy, in Edinburg, Scotland. 

A mention of Robert Tait appears in the Darwin letters and notes him residing at 14 Queen Anne Street, Cavendish Square.  Robert appears to have married Harriet Wilson, the eldest daughter of Professor Horace Hayman Wilson (1786-1860).   He currently has nine works of art included in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery of London, England (see below).  He died near Shaftesbury, England, on October 2, 1897.


Thomas Carlyle. Photographic portrait (salt print, 1851). National Portrait Gallery, London.

Jane Baillie Carlyle (née Welsh).  Photographic portrait (albumen print, April 1855). National Portrait Gallery, London.

Edward Taylor (1784-1863) Musician.  Mezzotint portrait by by Henry Edward Dawe, after Robert S. Tait.  National Portrait Gallery, London.

Gilbert Malcolm (1776-1855), Vicar of Todenham.  Lithograph portrait (1850) by Richard James Lane, printed by M & N Hanhart, after Robert S. Tait. 247 mm x 208 mm paper size.  National Portrait Gallery.

Portrait of  a mother and child.  Oil on Canvas  Size 127cm x 102cm. Signed.  Sotheby's London, 16 December 1987.

A Chelsea Interior, 1857 Carlisle House, Cheyne Row, London.  Home of Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) and his wife, Jane; Scottish writer and historian.  Thomas and Jane Carlyle in the Drawing Room of their House in Cheyne Row.

Portrait of Edward Kerrison Harvey.

 Best known for his work 'Thomas and Jane Carlyle in the Drawing Room of their House in Cheyne Row'.



If anyone can add more information about Robert I would be very pleased to hear from you.  If you know any more please contact me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.