Taverner, a lawyer and landscape painter, followed his father into the specialized profession of ecclesiastical law, becoming a public notary in 1737, and in 1739 Proctor of the Court of Arches, the Archbishop of Canterbury's court of appeal for the province of Canterbury. By 1733 he was already well known as a painter and was described by George Vertue as possessing 'a wonderfull genius to drawing of Landskap in an excellent manner adornd with figures in a stile above the common & paints in oil in a very commendable & masterly manner' (Vertue, Notebooks, 3.68). Since he was not, like most professional landscape painters of the period, obliged to paint country house or estate views in order to earn a living, Taverner seems to have been free to experiment more widely than his contemporaries with subject matter and technique, and is unusual among early English watercolourists in his frequent introduction to his landscapes of groups of classically inspired figures. Taverner's use of various combinations of chalks, ink, watercolour washes, and bodycolour to produce a generalized but imaginative form of landscape appears to have had an effect on Gainsborough's approach to the depiction of nature. Paul Sandby owned a number of drawings by Taverner and owed a great deal to his example. For another example of Taverner's work see lot 59.