Cole’s work encapsulises many characteristic Victorian attitudes to the countryside. His paintings were attractive as a celebration of the home counties, the heart of the British Empire. He painted an unchanging landscape which brought into the homes of town-dwelling Victorians, the main patron group, a comforting rural idyll where man was the master of nature and life continued timelessly, without the intrusions and pressures of urban industrialisation of mechanised agriculture. But Vicat Cole was not principally a painter of nostalgic scenes of country labour, and his works differed greatly fron those of artists, such as the Williams family and to a lesser extent his father, George Cole, who consistently worked in that vein. In Vicat Cole's paintings the countryside was surveyed and recorded in a manner reflecting the scientific and utilitarian temper of the period, and the requirement of the Victorian public for "correct" detail. — Tim Barringer, p. 70

George Vicat Cole. Source:
Chignell I: frontispiece.

Biographical material



Barringer, T.J. The Cole Family, Painters of the English Landscape, 1838 -1975. Portsmouth City Museums, 1988.

"Celebrities at Home, Mr Vicat Cole at Little Campden house, Kensington." The World. 6 May 1885.

Chignell, Robert. The Life and Painting of Vicat Cole RA. 3 vols. London: Cassell, 1896. (All three vols. available on the Internet Archive, digitised from copies in the Getty Research Institute. See discussions of paintings for details of individual volumes.)

Dodgson, Campbell. "Cole, George Vicat (1833-1893), landscape painter." Dictionary of National Biography. Supplement Vol II (1901): 41-42. Internet Archive. Web. 29 September 2022.

Created 29 September 2022