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BAYARD TAYLOR (1825-1878)
by Thomas Hicks (1823-1890)
Poet and travel writer Bayard Taylor produced popular chronicles of his journeys at home and abroad, as well as novels and collections of poetry. After he went to the Middle East, India, China, and Japan in 1851 1853, he published three volumes that mark his zenith as a travel writer, including The Lands of the Saracen; or, Pictures of Palestine, Asia Minor, Sicily, and Spain (1855).

This image of Taylor was painted in New York City by his friend, artist Thomas Hicks. In the painting Taylor wears clothing that he acquired in Egypt. He is seen with Achmet, his servant on his Middle East travels, whose portrait is based on a daguerreotype. To paint the background view of Damascus, the artist relied on drawings made by Taylor. Hicks, who was the nephew of Quaker painter Edward Hicks, exhibited the portrait at the National Academy of Design in 1856 as A Morning in Damascus.
Oil on canvas, 1855
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
NPG.76.6
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