Cooper, Samuel,1609–72, one of the greatest English miniaturists. A student of Hoskins, he worked in London from c.1642. He painted portraits of numerous celebrated Englishmen. His draftsmanship and unusual use of lighting made his vellum-on-card head-and-shoulder paintings remarkable. Specimens of his work are to be found at Windsor Castle; in the collections of the duke of Buccleuch and the duke of Devonshire (the latter containing the famous portrait of Cromwell familiar through engravings); in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; in the Rijksmuseum; and in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His brother, Alexander Cooper, d. 1660, was for many years miniature painter at the court of Queen Christina of Sweden.
Born in 1609 in London; died there May 5, 1672. English painter.
Samuel Cooper worked in London, in France at the court of Louis XIV, and in Holland. The most eminent English master of realist miniature portraiture, he created psychological portraits that were strikingly dynamic—for example, those of Oliver Cromwell and other leaders of the English Bourgeois Revolution of the 17th century. Cooper’s portraits executed during the Restoration of the Stuarts are marked by boldness, truthfulness, and insight.