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Thomas Chapman & Master Robert Cooper Tertius1840

by Maurice Felton

This beautifully executed portrait by Maurice Felton, the largest of all his surviving works, is a statement of class and wealth. The scale of the work would have made it an expensive commission, and would have required a room suitably large for its display.

Thomas Chapman was a Sydney textile merchant — which is indicated by the length of red cloth draped over his knee. He is seen here with his nephew-by-marriage Robert Cooper, aged 10. After Chapman’s wife died, he married his widowed sister-in-law, and became stepfather to his nephew Robert.