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Edward William Cooke

1811 - 1880

Edward William Cooke (1811-1880) is recognised as one of the great maritime artists of the 19th century. He came from a family of engravers and artists - his father George and uncle William Bernard (W B Cooke) were specialists in the field, engraving the works of many leading artists including J M W Turner, James Stark and Clarkson Stanfield.

E W Cooke published his 'Fifty Plates of Shipping and Craft' in 1828-1829 (see 00008402 as an example) which showed his attention to detail and draughtsmanship as well as an ability to impart an atmosphere to the work.

Known primarily for his maritime subjects he was equally at ease with geological and botanical subjects. He completed 400 of the 2,000 plates in Conrad Loddiges's periodical 'The Botanical Cabinet'. Cooke was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1863 and to the Royal Academy in 1864.

Cooke travelled widely throughout Europe completing works in Scandinavia, Holland, Italy, Spain and Northern Africa; with major drawings and paintings of the canals and topography of Venice and the beaches and estuaries of the Netherlands. He was strongly influenced by Willem van de Velde the Elder and the Younger with some of Cooke's finest works being Dutch fishing craft beached while the fishermen unloaded their catches.

His works are held in many of the world's great maritime museums and art galleries.