Brian Taylor was a British sculptor, particularly well regarded for his studies of both human and animal forms. Born in Surrey in 1935, Taylor attended the Sutton and Cheam School of Art between the years of 1950 – 1952. He would later attend the Epsom and Ewell School of Art where he experienced early success in response to his use of linocuts, most often exploring mythological themes. At the age of eighteen, his prints were displayed as part of a group exhibition at the Zwemmer Gallery in London. It was not until 1954, after enrolling at the Slade School of Art, that Taylor first began to experiment with sculpture. His love of the medium developed steadily in the years to follow, and in 1958 Taylor won a three-year scholarship to study sculpture in Rome.
Italy proved to be a great influence on the artist, with both ancient and modernist sculpture fuelling his formative appreciation of sculptural styles. From life-size marble carvings to more modest clay portraits, the early years of Taylor’s sculptural career was marked by an emphasis on human representation which often explored themes of emotional distress and mental instability. The artist taught at the Camberwell School of Art between the years of 1965 – 1984. During this time, Taylor began to move his focus away from life studies and human figures, drawing inspiration from the muscular animals he encountered during travels in rural Italy during the 1970s. Horses were of particular interest, the Burano Horse among his most celebrated works, though several life-sized sculptures of oxen and cows were also produced in response to the idyllic Italian countryside he grew to love. The initial success of Taylor’s early life continued steadily throughout his artistic career, his monumental bronze sculptures featuring regularly in both group and solo exhibitions in England and his beloved Italy. Celebrated by his peers and his audiences, in 1998 Taylor was elected a member of both the Royal Society of British Sculptors and the Society of Portrait Sculptors, which he would later serve as Vice Principal following his appointment in 2010. The artist died in 2013.