New PDF release: A Concise History of English Painting

By William Gaunt

Lines the advance of English portray from the center a long time to the 20th century, concentrating on the works of Hogarth, Blake, Gainsborough, Stubbs, Reynolds, Constable, Turner, and Bacon.

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Born in 1609, Cooper was a pupil of his uncle John Hoskins, also an artist of considerable ability, who worked for Charles I and was much employed by the King and others in making miniature copies after Van Dyck. The influence of Van Dyck was passed on to Hoskins's pupilassistant. Cooper was able, however, to apply a delicate sense of detail and a strong feeling for character in a thoroughly original way. Flourishing before, during, and after civil strife he gave as remarkable and extensive a record of his time as any.

What he objected to as much as anything was the absurd veneration of the darkness produced by time and varnish as well as the assumption that English painters were necessarily inferior to others. A forthrightness of statement may perhaps be related to his North-country 57 inheritance, for his father came to London from Westmorland, but was in any case the expression of a democratic outlook and unswervingly honest intelligence. The fact that he was apprenticed as a boy to a silver-plate engraver has a considerable bearing on Hogarth's development.

Jf), so sentient in every respect of English country and English life. The taste of the time for Dutch pictures and the affinity between Holland and East Anglia give an indication of his starting-point in landscape. He had some experience in copying and restoring paintings by Ruisdael and others. How well he adapted and transformed the Dutch method of composition Gainsborough's attachment to his native East Anglia is manifest in these early works: John Plampin of Chadacre (1755) {above opposite), and Air and Mrs Robert Andrews (1748-9) {below opposite).

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