Abraham Cooper 1787-1868

Abraham Cooper RA (1787-1868), was an English animal and battle painter. The son of a tobacconist, he was born in Greenwich, London. At the age of thirteen he became an employee at Astley's Amphitheatre, and was afterwards a groom in the service of Henry Meux, a brewer and later the first of the Meux baronets. When he was twenty-two, wishing to possess a portrait of a favorite horse under his care, he bought a manual of painting, learned something of the use of oil-colours, and painted the picture on a canvas hung against the stable wall. His master bought it and encouraged him to continue in his efforts. He accordingly began to copy prints of horses, and was introduced to Benjamin Marshall, the animal painter, who took him into his studio and seems to have introduced him to the Sporting Magazine, an illustrated periodical to which he was himself a contributor.