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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 17th-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’.

February 2016