Thomas Sidney Cooper RA (British 1803-1902) – Group of three cattle in landscape, watercolour on paper board, signed and dated 1876 and inscribed to mount. In its original frame re painted and watercolour on board has some worming showing some holes in picture (as seen in pictures).
21 × 30cm
Thomas Sidney Cooper was one of the foremost animal painters of the Victorian period. He was greatly encouraged by Abraham Cooper (of no relation) and Sir Thomas Lawrence. Cooper entered the Royal Academy Schools before taking up a position as a teacher in Brussels in 1829. It was here he became friends with the great Belgian animal painter Verboeckhoven, who greatly influenced his style. He was also influenced by the 17th Century Dutch School. In 1831 the artist settled in London and first exhibited at Suffolk Street in 1833. He exhibited forty-eight pictures at the British Institution between 1833 and 1863. ‘Landscape and Cattle’, Royal Academy 1833, was shown until 1902 without a break – a record for a continuous exhibit at the Royal Academy. Sheep and cattle were his most frequent subjects, although he did paint a few figurative subjects. His studio sale at Christie’s lasted three days from 12 to 15 April 1902. He is mainly associated with pictures of cattle or sheep, a fact that earned him the epithet 'Cow Cooper'. Cooper collaborated between 1847 and 1870 with Frederick Richard Lee R.A. on several paintings, Lee undertaking the landscapes, and Cooper adding animals to complete the scene.2 He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy (ARA) in 1845 and Royal Academician (RA) on 22 June 1867.3 The oldest member of the Royal Academy of Arts at the time of the accession of King Edward VII in 1901, Cooper was in July 1901 received by the King in audience,4 and appointed a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO).[ He was a great philanthropist in Canterbury, and used some of his wealth to build a number of Alms Houses for the poor in Chantry Lane in the centre of the city.6 Most notably in 1882 he developed his private art lessons into a full-fledged art school in Canterbury, located at his home and studio in St Peter's Street. Originally called the Canterbury Sidney Cooper School of Art, Cooper's art school is still in existence although it is now called the University of Creative Arts.7 Amongst Cooper's more well-known students was Mary Tourtel, creator and illustrator of the Rupert Bear books for children.He wrote his reminiscences, under the title of My Life, in 1890. The largest public collection of Cooper paintings is owned by Canterbury City Council and housed at the Royal Museum and Art Gallery (Beaney Institute) in Canterbury. Examples are also held by the Tate Gallery, London, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and other public collections, mainly in Britain.
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