Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Cook, Thomas

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COOK, THOMAS (1744?–1818), engraver, of London, was a pupil of Simon François Ravenet, the well-known French engraver, when resident in London. Cook was very industrious, and, soon reaching a high position in his art, was employed by Boydell and other art publishers on works which had a large circulation. He is best known from having copied the complete engraved work of Hogarth, to which he devoted the years 1795–1803, and which was published in 1806 under the title of ‘Hogarth Restored.’ This is a very valuable collection, as many of Hogarth's prints were of great rarity, and had not been made public before. He was employed also in engraving portraits, history, architecture, plates for magazines, &c. Among his best known works are ‘Jupiter and Semele’ and ‘Jupiter and Europa,’ after Benjamin West; ‘The English Setter,’ after J. Milton, engraved with S. Smith in 1770 as a pendant to ‘The Spanish Pointer,’ by Woollett; ‘The Wandering Musicians,’ a copy of Wille's engraving, after Dietrich; ‘St. Cecilia,’ after Westall, and several views after Paul Sandby for the ‘Copperplate Magazine.’ He engraved many portraits, especially for the ‘Gentleman's Magazine’ and others, and as frontispieces. Among the persons engraved in this way were Thomas Howard, earl of Arundel; George Washington, Samuel Johnson, Oliver Goldsmith, Charles Churchill, John Cunningham, William Harvey, David Hume, Joseph Spence, and others. Cook executed a reduced set of his Hogarth engravings for Nichol and Stevens's edition of Hogarth's works. He died in London in 1818, aged 74.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Nagler's Künstler-Lexikon; Gent. Mag. (1818) lxxxviii. 475; Bromley's Catalogue of Engraved Portraits.]

L. C.