Sheep in the Snow
The last of Thomas Sidney Cooper’s works, Sheep in the Snow was left unfinished on the easel. If you look closely, the pencil marks under the paint can still be seen.
Even at the age of ninety-nine, and with slightly failing eyesight, Cooper captures very realistic sheep in the midst of a pinky-grey sky and drifts of soft, powdery snow.
As this painting was left unfinished, Cooper’s under-drawing is still visible, especially around the sheep. The figure on horseback, left, is based on a study from life, which Cooper has copied by ‘squaring up’ – drawing a grid of squares on both the canvas and the study, then copying the outline square by square. The same figure can be seen in the distance on the left of Spring: In the Springtime of the Year hanging on the end wall of the Garden Room.