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Emmanuel Cooper

(de Sousy)

(b Geneva, Oct 2, 1866; d London, Oct 7, 1931).

English painter, designer, writer and collector. He trained as an illustrator at the City and Guilds Technical Art School, Lambeth, London, where he met and formed a lifelong relationship with Charles Shannon. He identified with the ideals of the Aesthetic Movement, finding inspiration in Renaissance art as well as in the French artists Gustave Moreau and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes. In 1888 he took over James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s house, The Vale, in Chelsea and drew together an artists’ colony. Inspired by the work of A. H. Mackmurdo and William Morris, he set up a small press over which he exercised complete control of design and production, producing art journals and books that included Oscar Wilde’s A House of Pomegranates (1891) and The Sphinx (1894). Ricketts later designed founts, initials, borders and illustrations for the Vale Press (1896–1904), blending medieval, Renaissance and contemporary imagery. His crisp woodcut illustrations often incorporated the swirling lines of Art Nouveau and androgynous figures....