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Samuel Cooper (1609-72)

A Self-Portrait Signed and dated 1645

Watercolour on vellum laid on card with a gessoed back | 7.2 x 5.5 cm (support, canvas/panel/str external) | RCIN 420067

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This miniature has a particularly strong physical presence, the sitter's slightly open lips giving an impression that he is about to speak. Cooper is reported to have had an agreeable personality, which presumably helped him negotiate the difficult politics of producing portraits of both Parliamentarians and Royalists during the Interregnum. After the Restoration he was patronised extensively by Charles II, who commissioned Cooper to draw his portrait for the new coinage.