Thomas Sidney Cooper
Oil on board, signed & dated 1880
Thomas Sidney Cooper was born in Canterbury on 26 September 1803. At the age of 12 he started working as a coach painter and later a scene painter, but continued to draw and paint in his spare time. At the age of 21 he moved to London to study at the Royal Academy. After returning to Canterbury, he travelled to Brussels where he met Eugène Joseph Verboeckhoven who had a great influence on his work.
In 1831, he returned to London and started selling paintings of the cattle that he sketched at Smithfield Market. In 1833, he made his debut at the Royal Academy where he continued to exhibit regularly until his death. He also exhibited at the Royal Society of British Artists and the British Institution between 1833 and 1863. He was elected ARA in 1845 and RA in 1867.
Cooper specialised in paintings of cattle or sheep, which earned him the nickname of 'Cow Cooper'. He became one of the most accomplished and successful animal landscape painters of the 19th century. He built Alms Houses in Canterbury and in 1882 set up the Canterbury Sidney Cooper School of Art. In July 1901, he was awarded the Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO). Cooper died in Canterbury on 7 February 1902.
Examples of his work can be found at the Royal Museum in Canterbury, Tate Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, Atkinson Art Gallery, Birmingham Museum, Brighton and Hove Museum, Northampton Museum Sheffield Museum and other public collections.
The painting is housed in it is superb original period gilt frame, which is in excellent condition.