Cook, Richard (DNB00)

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COOK, RICHARD (1784–1857), historical painter, was born in London in 1784. He obtained admission into the schools of the Royal Academy when sixteen years of age, and received the Society of Arts gold medal in 1832. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy ‘A Landscape,’ in 1808. At that period he resided at 41 North Audley Street, Grosvenor Square; in the same year he sent to the British Institution ‘The Agony of Christ’ and ‘Hector reproving Paris.’ In 1814 he had in the Royal Academy a portrait of Mr. G. F. Cooke, and ‘Acis and Galatea,’ afterwards engraved by W. Taylor. He now lived at 12 Greek Street, Soho Square. In 1816, being elected an associate, he sent from 50 Upper Marylebone Street five pictures, viz.: four from the ‘Lady of the Lake,’ and ‘Ceres, disconsolate for the loss of Proserpine, rejects the solicitation of Iris, sent to her by Jupiter.’ In 1822, Cook was elected a full academician, and from that time forward he almost seems to have relinquished his profession. He married a lady with fortune, which enabled him to entertain liberally his brother artists. He died in Cumberland Place, Hyde Park, on 11 March 1857. A sale of his pictures, sketches, prints, &c., took place at Christie & Manson's 1 June 1857. Among the lots there was Stothard's ‘George III and Queen, sitting, surrounded by a family of boys and girls.’ In the department of prints and drawings, British Museum, are preserved several drawings, chiefly studies for book illustrations, executed in 1806; a large study for the ‘Lady of the Lake’; a charming portrait of Mrs. Cook, seen full face, three-quarter length, executed in pencil and slightly tinted; and an interesting folio volume containing numerous carefully drawn figures, furniture, arms, &c., eighth to fifteenth centuries. Cook illustrated the following works: Sharpe's ‘Classics,’ Fénelon's ‘Telemachus,’ ‘The Grecian Daughter,’ ‘Apollonius Rhodius,’ Miller's ‘Shakespeare,’ Homer's ‘Iliad’ and ‘Odyssey,’ Goldsmith's ‘Miscellaneous and Poetical Works,’ Churchill's ‘Poems,’ ‘Ovid's Metamorphoses’ by Dr. Garth, Dryden's ‘Virgil,’ Tasso's ‘Jerusalem Delivered,’ by Hoole, &c.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists of the English School, Lond. 8vo, 1878; manuscript notes in the British Museum.]

L. F.