Born in 1803 in Canterbury, Thomas Sidney Cooper was one of the foremost animal painters of the Victorian period. Cooper particularly specialised in cattle, and had many commissions for his work. He was mentored by the English battle and animal painter Abraham Cooper (no relation) and Sir Thomas Lawrence, the leading contemporary portrait painter and president of the Royal Academy. He moved to Brussels in 1829 to take up a teaching position and while there became influenced by Verboeckhoven, a famous Belgian animal painter, and also by the stylised animal paintings of the Dutch school of the 17th century. In 1831, Cooper returned to Britain and became to exhibit his work in London. In 1882 he founded an art school to encourage ‘artistic endeavour’, and the building, now known as the Sidney Cooper Gallery, is still used today to house exhibitions. Cooper died in 1902.

Thomas Sidney Cooper commanded great respect during his lifetime, and his paintings are just as sought after today. In fact, his painting ‘Landscape and Cattle’ was shown at the Royal Academy without a break from 1833 until 1902, a record for a continuous exhibit. As he became ever more popular though, he was making so much money from commissions that his work had a tendency towards repetition. He continued to paint until almost the end of his life but his work declined in quality and so the ‘golden period’ for collectors is prior to about 1870. Sketches and drawings of well known works are also of interest and proven links to a well known client will increase value.

As with all artwork, the value of Thomas Sidney Cooper’s work varies a little according to the provenance, media, size and subject matter. Our strong and established reputation as auctioneers of fine art means that we’re often asked to sell works by sought-after artists such as Thomas Sidney Cooper. If you are considering the sale of a work by Cooper then please contact us to see how we can help; our professional valuation team travel nationally and have years of experience.

If you’re interested in adding to an existing collection, or perhaps in making a one-off investment in a quality artwork, our specialists will be pleased to help you.

If you’re interested in traditional art, be sure to check out our Paintings, Drawings & Pictures collecting guide for more artists and information. If you enjoyed reading this article please feel free to share it.



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