Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cowper, Frank Cadogan

Oil on canvas
54 x 37cm (21.26" x 14.57")
Royal Academy of Arts, London, United Kingdom

Frank Cadogan Cowper (1877 – 1958) was an English painter, historical and literary scenes, described as "The last of the Pre-Raphaelites". He worked in both watercolours and oils, and also worked as book illustrator.
This painting "Vanity" was Cowper's diploma work for the Royal Academy, lately graced the front cover of the Royal Academy Magazine. His art was unappreciated in his later days however, in more recent years, his popularity is once again in the ascendant.

He was known to go to extreme lengths for his art. For example, for his early picture of the graveyard scene in Hamlet, he had a grave specially dug, which he said ‘astounded the neighbours very much’, and when he decided to paint a picture of St Francis of Assisi he went to Assisi specifically for the purpose and used a real Bishop as his model.
Cowper had his first picture was hung at the Royal Academy when he was just 22 where continued to exhibit his work as well as and at the Royal Watercolour Society and the Paris Salon, and in Rome and Venice.