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Il Penseroso, 1848, Charles West Cope V&A Museum no. FA.59[O]

Charles West Cope (July 28, 1811 – August 21, 1890) was an English Victorian era painter.

Born in Leeds, Yorkshire, England, his pictures have for subjects historical or dramatic scenes, and were very numerous. After a two year residence in Italy, he began to exhibit at the Royal Academy in 1833. In 1843 he entered the Westminster Hall competition, gaining a £300 prize with 'First Trial by Jury'. The following year he was commissioned to produce one of the six frescoes for the new House of Lords, later working on eight frescoes for the Peers corridor. Having been elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1844, he was in 1848 made an Academician, and Professor of Painting at the Academy from 1867 to 1874, as well as an Academy Trustee.

To his birthplace, he presented an altarpiece for St George’s Church, Leeds. Cope was a founding member of the Etching Club, a social and professional association of twelve painter-etchers formed in London in 1838 to revive etching as an illustrative art form. The Club promoted the rendering of original works during a period when reproduction of old masters was in vogue, and thus helped invigorate the emerging art scene in England.[1] Other Victorian artists of note who were members were William Holman Hunt, Richard Redgrave and Samuel Palmer.

Othello Relating His Adventures, 1853. Etching by Charles West Cope. The Works of Shakespere (ed. Charles Knight, Virtue and Company, London)


  1. ^ The Times, Wednesday August 27 1890. Obituary.

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This article incorporates text from the public domain 1907 edition of The Nuttall Encyclopædia.


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