Brown, grey and pink washes on beige paper
4 x 3 3/4 inches (10 x 9.5 cm)
Signed: In Nuremberg
Commissioned from the artist by Daniel Wadsworth Coit (1787 – 1876), and thus by descent for five generations in the Coit family to Estate of Ms. Elizabeth Hoague, Seattle.
Thomas Sidney Cooper began his career in art upon the encouragement of Sir Thomas Lawrence, and the unrelated animal painter, Abraham Cooper. Cooper entered the Royal Academy Schools, London, in 1823 and subsequently taught in Brussels from 1827 to 1831. While there, he met and was greatly influenced by Eugene Ver Boeckhoven, and became familiar with 17th Century painters such as Aelbert Cuyp and Paulus Potter. Cooper returned to London in 1831, where he remained until his death, and proceeded to become one of the longest continuous exhibitors in the Royal Academy’s history. He showed 266 works without pause from 1833 – 1902 at the Academy; he also exhibited at the Royal Society of British Artists and the British Institution. Cooper’s paintings were almost exclusively of cattle, but despite his narrow subject choice and prolific output, the quality of Cooper’s paintings remained quite high. Upon his death in 1902, the contents of his studio were sold at Christie’s.
Our drawing, A View of Nuremberg, depicts a quaint scene rendered in delicate pencil and almost monochromatic washes. The artist offers a distant view of a 17th century German town, where one can appreciate the tiny silhouettes of a few figures against the tall buildings. The abstract shapes of town cottages, churches, and other buildings, create an interesting pattern of sunlight and shadows, defining the light in the painting. The details of the scene, including the finely rendered brick of the prominent stone structure to the right, are subtly suggested by light pencil over the wash. The scene communicates a quality of tranquil solitude, due to both the predominantly gray tone of the wash and the relaxed and peaceful sentiment in the streets.