Charles West Cope England
7-28-1811 Leeds, ENG – 8-21-1890 Bournemouth, ENGBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
In 1828 Charles West Cope became a student of the Royal Academy. He obtained a silver medal from the Society of Arts in 1829, a second medal in the Royal Academy Life School, and therefore a life studentship.
In 1832 Charles West Cope went to Paris and practiced his art by copying Old Masters at the Louvre such as Titian, Rembrandt and others. In 1833 he exhibited at the Royal Academy for the first time – a picture called The Golden Age. In September of the same year he traveled to Italy, where he spent two years – earning a living for part of the time by painting pictures on commission. His painting The Firstborn was completed in Florence and exhibited at the British Institution.
After returning to England, where his landlord and family became his artist's models. Here he painted Paolo and Franceses and Osteria di Campagna, which were exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1837 and 1838 respectively, and sold shortly thereafter for a considerable sum.
Charles West Cope submitted designs for a competition to decorate the interior of the Houses of Parliament. In 1843, his drawing 'The First Trial by Jury' earned him a prize of 300 pounds. In 1844 he submitted a further design called 'Meeting of Jacob and Rachel,' and was one of the six painters commissioned in July of that year to prepare preliminary drawings, colored sketches, and specimens of fresco painting for the decoration of the House of Lords. He also received 400 pounds for his design of Prince Henry Acknowledging the Authority of Judge Gascoigne. Cope received a commission to execute this design in fresco, and also another of Edward the Black Prince receiving the Order of the Garter. These commissions, and others, engaged Cope in fresco painting in the House of Lords for several years.
In 1848 he became a Royal Academician (RA) after exhibiting a large work Cardinal Wolsey's Reception at Leicester Abbey. In this year he was engaged on the frescoes of Griselda and Lara on the wall of the upper waiting hall of the House of Lords. In 1849 he traveled to Italy and Germany to improve his knowledge and technique of fresco painting.
In 1865 and 1866 Charles West Cope finished his best frescoes in the House of Lords – 'Meeting of Train Bands to relieve the Siege of Gloucester' and Speaker Lenthall asserting the Privileges of the Commons. In 1867 he was appointed professor of painting at the Royal Academy, and delivered six lectures a year till 1875.
Art Movement: Victorian Classicism
Traveled: France, Italy, Germany, USA