Thomas Sidney Cooper started painting as a coach painter and scenic artist in Canterbury, England, where he was born on September 26, 1803. Cooper began his education at the Royal Academy in 1824 and afterwards moved to Brussels, where he worked from 1827 until 1830, where he took up animal painting and spent time in the studio of Eugène Verboekhoven. After moving back to London in 1831 following the political upheaval in Belgium that led to its independence from The Netherlands, Cooper became a very successful animal painter.
Back in England he was elected an Associate member of the Royal Academy in 1845 and was made a full member in 1867. Cooper made such a name for himself that he was commissioned by Queen Victoria to paint the Royal herd of pedigree Jersey cows. No less than 266 of his paintings were exhibited at the Royal Academy, to this day a record for an exhibitor. Cooper was a prolific painter and a hard worker; although making a living was difficult at the beginning of his career, he passed away a financially prosperous man in Canterbury on February 7, 1902.
Born in Canterbury (Kent), England on September 26th, 1803
Died in Harbledown (Kent), England on February 7th, 1902