COWPER, Frank Cadogan

1877 - 1958

Frank Cadogan Cowper

Frank Cadogan Cooper, later Cowper, was born at Wicken Rectory, Northamptonshire, where his grandfather Revd Edward Cadogan was the local rector, on 16 October 1877, eldest child of Frank Cooper (18 January 184928 May 1930), a schoolmaster, author and early pioneer of coastal cruising in yachts, and his wife Edith Elise née Cadogan (21 July 185918 November 1933), also an author, who married at Wicken Parish Church on 28 December 1876, but they had separated by 1890, the couple had eight children, four boys and four girls, the first five children were registered as Cooper and had their names changed to Cowper when their father changed his name in 1885. In 1881, Frank was a 3-year-old, living at Kivernall House, Hordle, Lymington, Hampshire, a school kept by his 31-year-old father Frank, with his 21-year-old mother Edith, and siblings Edith Alice Magdalen 2 and newly born Lionel Ernest Cadogan with several boarding pupils and servants. In 1891 their mother was living at Lisle Court, Wootton, Isle of Wight, Hampshire with two sons, including Frank, and four daughters. Frank was educated at Cranleigh School, Surrey before going on to study art at St John's Wood School of Art in 1896 and then at the Royal Academy Schools 27 July 1897-July 1902. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1899, and achieved critical success, and two years later with his work 'An Aristocrat answering the Summons to Execution, Paris 1791'. In 1902, he spent six months studying under Edwin Austin Abbey (1852-1911) before travelling to Italy. An Associate of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1904 and Member in 1911, and an Associate of the Royal Academy on 6 November 1907, a member on 26 June 1934 and a senior on 1 January 1953. A painter and illustrator of portraits, historical and literary scenes, being described as 'The last of the Pre-Raphaelites', working in both watercolours and oils, was also a book illustrator for Sir Sidney Lee's 'The Imperial Shakespeare' and in 1910 contributed to a mural in the Houses of Parliament. As art fashion changed, Cowper increasingly exhibited his portrait paintings but continued to produce historical and literary works. He exhibited at the Ipswich Art Club from 3 Edwardes Square Studio, London in 1923, an oil 'Mrs J. Pares Wilson'. In 1927 he was living at 'Les Branches', St Martin, Guernsey although he was back living in Fairford, Gloucestershire by the end of the Second World War. In 1951, he set up a studio in Cirencester and Frank Cadogan Cowper was of Somerton, Berkeley Road, Cirencester, Gloucestershire when he died at The Memorial Hospital, Cirencester on 17 November 1958. At his studio sale at Cirencester shortly after his death, so unappreciated was his art that canvases were offered 'suitable for reuse', but at a sale at Christie's in London on 17 December 2011, his painting 'Our Lady of the Fruits of the Earth' (1917) sold for 469,250.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from The Mission House, 38 Barrow Hill Road, St John's Wood
1899 1443 W.E.A. Erskine, Esq. - etching/drawing
         1445 W.D. Eden, Esq. - etching/drawing
1900 614 The Good Samaritan
         745 Portrait of the Artist
         1597 Lorenzo and Isabella - etching/drawing
1901 596 An Aristocrat answering the Summons to execution in Paris, 1793
         1203 Miss Amy Sawyer - watercolour
1902 507 Hamlet: the churchyard scene
1903 783 Lady Clare
1904 130 St Francis of Assisi and the heavenly melody
1905 636 St Agnes in Prison...
1906 653 The tower of the Church of St Francis of Assisi
         678 Assisi: the hour of 'Ave Maria'
1907 122 Vanity
         280 How the troubadour disguised as a vagrant...

from Hughenden House, Fairfield, Glos.
1944 398 The Merry Widower
from Summerton, 2 Berkeley Road, Cirencester, Glos.
1951 364 Dr. George Redington, D.Sc.
         379 The Feather-bed Farmer
1952 483 A Jealous Husband...
1953 553 The Legend of Sir Percival
         602 Hermia in the Wood
         606 Miss Gale Hallon
1954 530 Lt. Col. J.P. Carne, V.C., D.S.O.
         535 Four Queens find Launcelot Sleeping
1955 343 Elizabeth, daughter of General F.V.B. Witts, C.B., C.B.E., D.S.O., M.C.
1956 401 The Golden Bowl
1957 439 F. Cadogan Cowper, R.A.

Works by This Artist