COWPER, Frank Cadogan

1877 - 1958

Frank Cadogan Cowper

Frank Cadogan Cowper, was born at Wicken Rectory, Northamptonshire, where his grandfather was the local rector, on 16 October 1877, eldest child of Frank Cowper, schoolmaster and author, and his wife Edith Eliza née Cadogan, who married at Wicken in 1876. In 1881, 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 M. 2 and newly born Lionel Ernest C. with several boarding pupils and servants and by 1891 they had moved to Lisle Court, Wootton, Isle of Wight, Hampshire with the addition of three daughters. Frank was educated at Cranleigh School, Surrey before going on to study art at St John's Wood Art School 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 still 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 was of Somerton, Berkeley Road, Cirencester, Gloucestershire when he died at The Memorial Hospital, Cirencester on 17 November 1958. At his studio sale in 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. [Frank Cadogan Cowper: the last Pre-Raphaelite (Amanda Waterman 2008)].

Works by This Artist