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Edward William Cooke (British, 1811-1880)


Also known as:  Cooke, Edward

Edward William Cooke's skill as a draftsman and engraver from an early age led to a long and successful career as a maritime painter, resulting in numerous exhibitions at the British Royal Academy. As a boy in London, he made pencil studies of plants for his father George Cooke's engravings for The Botanical Cabinet (1817-33); at age 14, he drew pictures of ships and their rigging for the marine painter Clarkson Stanfield; and at age 17, he prepared an entire book of etchings, Sixty-five Plates of Shipping and Craft. With Stanfield's encouragement, Cooke took up oil painting and traveled to France, Scandinavia, Holland, Spain, Italy, and Egypt in search of scenic coastal views. Especially enamored of the 17th-century Dutch painters Willem van de Velde the Elder and Younger, Cooke developed a style characterized by classical composition, naturalistic detail and yellow light, acquiring him the nickname "Dutch Cooke."

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