Cooper, Richard (1740?-1814?) (DNB00)

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COOPER, RICHARD, the younger (1740?–1814?), painter and engraver, son of Richard Cooper the elder, engraver, of Edinburgh [q. v.], was born in Edinburgh about 1740, and after receiving instruction from his father went to Paris and studied engraving under J. P. Le Bas, the famous French engraver, to whom he owed the correctness and brilliancy which distinguished some of his engravings. In 1761 he exhibited at the Incorporated Society of Artists a drawing from a picture by Trevisani, probably for the engraving of a Magdalen after that artist, which he exhibited at the Free Society of Artists in the following year. In 1762 also he exhibited one of his best engravings, viz. ‘The Children of Charles I,’ after Vandyck; at the Incorporated Society of Artists in 1764 he exhibited ‘The Virgin and Child,’ after Correggio, a very brilliant engraving. His name does not appear again as an exhibitor for some years, and during this period he seems to have visited Italy and produced a series of tinted drawings of Rome and its vicinity, which have gained for him the name of the ‘English Poussin.’ These he engraved, aquatinted, and published in 1778 and 1779, besides exhibiting some of the drawings at the Royal Academy. In 1782 he completed a large and important work, which he aquatinted and exhibited in 1783 at the Incorporated Society of Artists; this was the ‘Procession of the Knights of the Garter,’ from a design by Vandyck formerly in Charles I's collection, and intended to have been painted for the Banqueting House at Whitehall. Other engravings by him were portraits of ‘William III and Mary;’ Thomas Wentworth, earl of Strafford; Frederick, prince of Wales, and his sisters; ‘Rembrandt's Mistress’ (in mezzotint), ‘A Bacchanal,’ after N. Poussin; ‘A View of the Port of Messina before the Earthquake in 1783,’ after T. M. Slade. About 1787 Cooper settled in Charles Street, St. James's Square, and devoted himself to drawing, exhibiting numerous drawings at the Royal Academy up to 1809; among these were two of Windsor Castle, which were engraved and aquatinted by S. Alken. He was appointed drawing-master to Queen Charlotte, and also held that position in Eton School. He is stated to have been alive in 1814. Samples of his drawings may be seen at the South Kensington Museum and at the print room, British Museum; in the latter collection there are also numerous engravings, etchings, and lithographs by him.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Nagler's Künstler-Lexikon; Bryan's Dict. of Artists (ed. Graves); Sarsfield Taylor's State of the Arts in Great Britain and Ireland; Graves's Dict. of Artists, 1760–1880; Guiffrey's Vandyck; Catalogues of the Royal Academy, South Kensington Museum, &c.]

L. C.