A stranger knocking at the door…how would you cope?

charles west copeThis 1844 picture comes from the Victoria & Albert Museum – entitled “Palpitation.”  My interpretation is that the young woman’s heart is all a flutter; due to the kerfuffle happening on the other side of the door.   I reckon there was a man and he said something like “Why don’t you come upstairs and see my etchings”.

This is because the Victorian era artist of “Palpitation“, Charles West Cope, founded an artists’ society called “The Etching Club” which included fellow artists William Holman Hunt, Richard Redgrave and Samuel Palmer.

Charles West Cope was born in Leeds, Yorks on July 28, 1811. He studied at a few art schools before enrolling at the Royal Academy and exhibited there until 1882. Some of his more impressive pieces include several frescos in the House of Lords, in London.

He married Charlotte Benning  on September 1, 1840, and four years later, created “Palpitation,” at the age of 33. Perhaps Charlotte was his model? A decade after Charlotte died, he married for a second time to Eleanor Smart. Four years later, he retired to Maidenhead, Berks, taking up both boating and cycling. He wrote “Reminiscences“, his autobiography in October 1889 and after a brief illness, died in Bournemouth on August 21, 1890. Quite a lot to cope with actually.

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