Alexander Cooper - Encyclopedia




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ALEXANDER COOPER (d. 1660), English miniature painter. His works are of great rarity, and the chief are a series representing the king and queen of Bohemia and their children, in the possession of the German emperor; some very remarkable portraits belonging to the queen of Holland, and others in the possession of the king of Sweden and in various Swedish galleries. He was the brother of Samuel Cooper, but whether senior or junior to him is not known, although, according to certain Swedish authorities, he is stated, upon very slight evidence, to have been born in 1605, four years before his more famous brother. He came to Sweden in 1646, and the Swedish documents declare that he was a Jew, and that his full name was Abraham Alexander Cooper. He had previously been residing in Holland, but on reaching Sweden entered the service of Queen Christina, and continued to be her miniature painter until 1654, when she resigned the crown. Two years later, Cooper was in Denmark, carrying out some commissions for Christian IV., but adjoining states, or those engaged by the British government for employment in east and central Africa. By section 8 of this act natives of India are permitted to emigrate under labour contracts only to such countries as have in 1657 was back again in Stockholm, where he died in the early part of 1660. The date of his birth is not known, but he is believed to have been born in London.

For full information regarding his career, and for various documents bearing his signature, see The History of Portrait Miniatures, by G. C. Williamson, chap. vi. page 78, and an article in the Nineteenth Century for October 1905. (G. C. W.)

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