Cooper often painted subjects from the Stour Valley in Kent. Here he depicts Tonford Manor, Thanington, now a suburb of Canterbury. His apparently truthful portrayal of cattle and sheep introduced a new note into English art. His style is modelled on that of the Belgian painter Eugene Verboekhoven (1798-1881), who specialised in cattle pictures modelled on Dutch seventeenth-century masters such as Paulus Potter (1620-91) and Aelbert Cuyp (1620-1691). These artists were much in vogue among British collectors of the time, and Cooper was sometimes called the English ‘Paul Potter’.