Cooper, Alexander (DNB00)

COOPER, ALEXANDER (fl. 1630–1660), miniature painter, was elder brother of Samuel Cooper [q. v.], and, like his brother, instructed in the art of miniature-painting by their uncle, John Hoskins. Though he never attained the excellence that his brother did, he was very successful, being a good draughtsman, painting both in oil and water colours. Vertue states that a miniature he saw in the possession of Dr. Mead was painted in the style of the Olivers; and there was a miniature of a lady in the Strawberry Hill collection. He settled for some time in Amsterdam, where he met Joachim Sandrart, the painter and biographer, who narrates that Cooper showed him a great quantity of miniatures of the British court done by himself. He subsequently passed into the service of Queen Christina of Sweden, after which further details of his life are wanting. A miniature of this queen was exhibited at the special exhibition of miniatures in 1865. A portrait of William of Orange was engraved after Cooper by Hondius in 1641. It is stated that there was a picture by him at Burghley House, representing the story of Actæon and Diana. This would point to his having painted in other styles than miniature, and landscapes are also recorded as bearing his name.

[Redgrave's Dict. of English Artists; Nagler's Künstler-Lexikon; De Piles's Lives of the Artists; Heineken's Dictionnaire des Artistes; Sandrart's Deutsche Academie, vii. 328; Fiorillo's Geschichte der Mahlerey in Gross-Britannien; Weinwich's Dansk, Norsk, og Svensk Konstner-Lexicon; Catalogue of the Special Exhibition of Miniatures, 1865.]

L. C.