Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Thomas Sidney Cooper
He was born at Canterbury, Kent, and as a small child he began to show strong artistic inclinations, but the circumstances of his family did not allow him to received any systematic training. By the time he was twelve years old, he was working in the shop of a coach painter. Later he obtained a job as a scene painter; and he alternated between these two occupations for about eight years. He still felt a desire to become an artist, and all his spare moments were spent drawing and painting from nature. At the age of twenty he went to London, drew for a while in the British Museum, and was admitted as a student of the Royal Academy.
He then returned to Canterbury, where he was able to earn a living as a drawing-master and by the sale of sketches and drawings. In 1827 he settled in Brussels; but four years later he returned to London to live, and by showing his first picture at the Royal Academy (1833) began an unprecedentedly prolonged career as an exhibitor. Cooper's name is mainly associated with pictures of cattle or sheep, and the most notable of the many hundred he produced are:
- "A Summer's Noon" (1836)
- "A Drover's Halt on the Fells"(1838)
- "A Group in. the Meadows" (1845)
- "The Half-past One o'Clock Charge at Waterloo" (1847)
- "The Shepherd's Sabbath" (1866)
- "The Monarch of the Meadows" (1873)
- "Separated but not Divorced" (1874)
- "Isaac's Substitute" (1880)
- "Pushing off for Tilbury Fort"(1884)
- "On a Farm in East Kent "(1889)
- "Return to the Farm, Milking Time" (1897)
Cooper collaborated with Frederick Lee R.A. on several paintings, Lee undertaking the landscapes that he was well-known for, and Cooper adding animals to complete the scene.
He was elected A.R.A. in 1845 and R.A. in 1867. He presented to his native place, in 1882, the Sidney Cooper Art Gallery , built on the site of the house in which he was born. He wrote his reminiscences, under the title of My Life, in 1890.
- This entry incorporates public domain text originally from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica.
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