Michael Taylor was born in Sussex and studied at the Worthing School of Art (1969-70) and Goldsmiths School of Art (1970-73). He has received many awards for his paintings, and undertaken a number of important portrait commissions. Four of his works are in the National Portrait Gallery, London: portraits of the musician Julian Bream, the composer Sir John Tavener, the writer P D James, Baroness James of Holland Park and a self portrait.

His chosen way of working inevitably leads to a certain complexity of content that only reveals itself with time and familiarity. As Mary Rose Beaumont wrote: “the paintings do not simply record what is seen, but also what might be seen with the inner eye. They represent thoughts and feelings that are not visible. They are for the individual who is prepared to let them enter his bloodstream, who will return again and again to savour the slow release quality of these remarkable paintings”.





I am happy to travel to sitters but I am afraid that I neither work from photographs nor paint groups. I like about eight sittings. I am not currently registered for VAT.


  • 2020, Waterhouse and Dodd, London
  • 2010 Waterhouse & Dodd, London
  • 2006 Waterhouse & Dodd, London
  • 1997 Beaux Arts, London
  • 1993 Beaux Arts, London
  • 1984 Worthing Museum and Art Gallery
  • 1983 Quay Art Centre, Isle of Wight
  • 1983 Morley Gallery, London


  • 2018, Winner, RP Smallwood Architects Prize
  • 2007 International Fine Art Fair, Palm Beach, Florida, Waterhouse & Dodd
  • Art20, Armory, New York, Waterhouse & Dodd
  • Self Portrait with Machine & Portrait with Grave Goods acquired by Scheringa Museum Voor Realisme, The Netherlands commissioned by The House of Lords: Lord Falconer of Thoroton, Lord Chancellor 2003-2007 (last such portrait to be commissioned)
  • 2006 International Fine Art Fair, Palm Beach, Florida, Waterhouse & Dodd
  • grl rsting on swvle chr acquired by Scheringa Museum Voor Realisme, The Netherlands
  • 2003 Portrait of Andy Sheppard unveiled at the Holburne Museum of Art, Bath
  • 2002 Winner of Changing Faces prize at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters exhibition: Sir John Tavener
  • Winner of Holburne Portrait Prize at the Holburne Museum of Art in Bath: Couple with Lamp
  • Channel 4 television programme ‘In Your Face’ on Baroness P.D.James portrait.
  • 2001 Exhibited Royal Society of Portrait Painters Exhibition, Mall Galleries.
  • Elected member of Royal Society of Portrait Painters.
  • Couple with Lamp selected for display in National Portrait Gallery, London.
  • Painted portrait of Sir John Tavener – acquired by National Portrait Gallery, London
  • 1991 Baroness P D James portrait loaned to 10 Downing Street
  • 1996 Commissioned National Portrait Gallery, London: Baroness P D James
  • 1992 -1997 London Art Fair, Business Design Centre, Islington, London
  • 1991 Mixed Summer Exhibition, Beaux Arts, Bath
  • 1989 Winner of Millfield Open Art Competition
  • 1988 Third Prize, Hunting Group Art Prizes, Mall Galleries
  • 1984 Commissioned National Portrait Gallery, London: Julian Bream
  • Subsequent portrait commissions including at Christchurch Hall Oxford, Robinson College Cambridge, Southampton University, Church House Oxford
  • 1983 John Player Award Winner, National Portrait Gallery, London
  • 1982 John Player Award Finalist (Commended), National Portrait Gallery, London
  • 1981 John Player Award Finalist, National Portrait Gallery, London

Commission a portrait by Michael Taylor RP