George Cole, (1810 - 1883)
George Cole was a painter of portraits, landscapes and animals.
Cole was self-taught and began his career by painting several large canvas advertisements for the proprietor of a travelling circus (i.e. Tiger Hunts etc, exhibited at Weyhill Fair). This success led him to study animal painting more seriously, travelling to Holland to study the Dutch Masters.
He devoted himself for some years to animal painting in Portsmouth, exhibiting for the first time in London at the British Institution in 1840. His “Don Quixote” and “Sancho Panza with Rosinante in Don Pedro’s Hut” attracted much attention there in 1845.
From 1849 to 1882 Cole exhibited at the Royal Academy, turning to landscapes, mainly in Hampshire Surrey, Cornwall, Wales and Sussex.
His son George Vicat Cole was also a landscape painter and their work is sometimes confused.