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    Sale 2171

    Important American Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture

    20 May 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 100

    Colin Campbell Cooper (1856-1937)

    Taj Mahal, Moonlight

    Price Realised  


    Colin Campbell Cooper (1856-1937)
    Taj Mahal, Moonlight
    signed 'Colin Campbell Cooper' (lower right)--inscribed with title (on a label affixed to the stretcher)
    oil on canvas
    29 x 36 in. (73.7 x 91.4 cm.)

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    Although the exact impetus for Colin Campbell Cooper's first trip to India in 1913 is unknown, the artist immediately became enamored with the architecture, people and pageantry of the foreign land. This rare and unique destination for an American artist afforded Cooper a wealth of rich imagery to explore, most notably the majestic Taj Mahal, which had captivated artists and visitors for generations. Mesmerized by the palace, Cooper commented, "That has rare distinction, plus an unforgettable and elusive quality which makes it extraordinarily precious." Cooper completed a series of works depicting the Taj Mahal at various times of day and from varying vantage points that demonstrated the artist's skilled draftsmanship and use of light and a sophisticated palette. "Critics singled out the Taj Mahal paintings. 'The chefs-de-oeuvre [sic] of the exhibition are of that highest expression of Indian architectural beauty, the Taj Mahal. Artists without number have exhausted their talents on its symmetry of design, the delicate grace of its domes... Mr. Cooper has admirably depicted the inspiring structure and has embodied in his two pictures the romance of the East.'" Another critic offered the following review: "The colorful brush of Colin Campbell Cooper, so sensitive to decoration, atmosphere and environment, has found in India inspiring subjects and translated them with such grace and charm that will...greatly delight his admirers and will be a surprise to those art lovers who do not know his work--if there be any." (as quoted in D.E. Solon, East Coast/West Coast and Beyond: Colin Campbell Cooper, American Impressionist, exhibition catalogue, New York, 2006, pp. 76, 81)


    Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, New York.
    Private collection, Rochester, New York, acquired from the above, circa 1962.
    By descent to the present owner.


    (Possibly) New York, William Macbeth Gallery, n.d.