George Cooke (1781–1834) and William Bernard Cooke (1778–1855) were publishers and engravers. The latter brother was responsible for engraving Girtin’s Caernarvon Castle, North Wales (see print after TG1309), but it was the three annual Exhibitions of Drawings, comprising a mix of loans and works for sale, that they organised at their gallery in Soho Square between 1822 and 1824 that played a key role in the establishment of Girtin’s posthumous reputation. The twenty or so watercolours that were included in the exhibitions featured the first public appearance of Chelsea Reach, Looking towards Battersea (The White House, Chelsea) (TG1740), and the work’s growing fame was enhanced by its inclusion in William Bernard Cooke’s collection of mezzotints of ‘Pictures of Acknowledged Excellence, Beauty, and Variety, Painted by Esteemed Masters of All Ages and All Countries’, titled Gems of Art (Cooke, 1823).
1798 - 1799
The Eagle Tower, Caernarfon Castle
Chelsea Reach, Looking towards Battersea (The White House, Chelsea)