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Thomas Sidney Cooper RA
Head of a Shorthorn Cow Portrait - British Victorian art animal oil painting

circa 1832



This stunning portrait oil painting of a cow with landscape beyond is by famous British Victorian animal artist Thomas Sidney Cooper. Painted circa 1832, this handsome beast is a red Shorthorn cow. The Shorthorn breed of cattle originated in the North East of England in the late 18th century and are red, white or roan in colour. This life size painting is believed to be the largest single head study painted by Thomas Sidney Cooper. The brushwork on the cow's forehead is incredibly realistic and detailed and he has really captured the soul of the animal. This painting wouldn't look out of place in a museum. Housed in a fine complementary frame, 48 inches by 40 inches and in good condition. Provenance: The Artist's studio sale, Christie's, London, 12th April 1902, Lot 123 (21 guineas to Bowden) Anon sale, Sotheby's, London 27th March 1979, lot 110 as 'a bull's head' (£250 to Apollo Galleries) Kenneth J. Westwood, Esq, Dorset Christie's, London, 11th June 1993, Lot 199. £3600. Anon Private Collection, Inverness-shire Exhibited: Canterbury-Royal Museum, Early Drawings by Thomas Sidney Cooper, RA, 1992. no.59 Literature: Kenneth Westwood. 'Thomas Sidney Cooper, RA.- His Life and Work'. Wilson Hunt. Publ. 1991, vol. one, p.169 as O (1832)1, 'Head of a Cow', also titled 'A Bulls Head'. Thomas Sidney Cooper (1803-1902) 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. 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. His works can be found in museums in: Birmingham City Art Gallery; Blackburn City Art Gallery; Cardiff, National Gallery of Wales; Glasgow City Art Gallery; Leeds City Art Gallery; Leicester City Art Gallery; Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery; London, Victoria and Albert Museum, the Wallace Collection and the National Gallery..


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