The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Thomas Cooper Gotch, 1854-1931

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1854.12.10
Place of Birth: Kettering
Date of Death: 1931.05.01
Place of Death: Newlyn


Thomas Cooper Gotch was a painter. He married the painter Caroline Yates in 1881.


Gotch studied under Alphonse Legros at the Slade School of Art from 1878 to 1880 and there became friendly with Henry Scott Tuke. He studied in Paris in the early 1880s and there began painting en plein-air. He became one of the central figures of the Newlyn School, settling in Newlyn in 1887.

His works were notable for their rural subject matter and their concern to depict the changing effects of light. He also made his name as a portraitist, e.g. Sir William Drake in the Morning Room (1885; Private Collection), and in the 1890s as a painter of allegorical themes, for example, My Crown and Sceptre (1892; Sydney Art Gallery) and Death the Bride (1895; Alfred East Gallery, Kettering).

Friendly with JW, many of Gotch's works were indebted to the tonal harmonies and compositional techniques of JW. Gotch was a founding member of the New English Art Club, at the opening exhibition of which in June 1888 JW showed A White Note (YMSM 44) and a recent etching of Brussels. Gotch was also a founding member of the Royal British Colony Society of Artists. He was also a member of the Royal Society of British Artists, of which JW was President from 1886 to 1888, and of the Royal Institution.


Baldry, A. L., 'The Work of T. C. Gotch', The Studio, vol. 13, March 1898, pp. 73-82; Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres Sculpteurs Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, Paris, 1956-61; Fox, C., and F. Greenacre, Artists of the Newlyn School, 1880-1900, exhibition catalogue, Orion Galleries, Newlyn, 1979; Rezelman, B. Cogger, The Newlyn Artists and their Place in Late-Victorian Art, dissertation, Bloomington, 1984; Fox, C., and F. Greenacre, Painting in Newlyn, 1880-1930, London, 1985; McConkey, Kenneth, Memory and Desire: Painting in Britain and Ireland at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, London, 2002; Rezelman, Betsy Cogger, 'Thomas Cooper Gotch', The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, ed. L. Macy, (accessed 21 March 2002).