Thomas Matthews Rooke

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A Vanished Corner of Old Chiswick, 1896
The Lychgate, 1873

Thomas Matthews Rooke (1842, London – 1942, London) was a British watercolourist. He worked as a designer, as an assistant to other artists, and was commissioned by John Ruskin to make architectural drawings.[1]


Ruskin hired Rooke from Morris & Co. in 1879, and Rooke was still paid by him eight years later.[2] In 1884 he was painting Italian architecture. Ruskin's project aimed to record threatened landscapes and buildings, and for it he also employed Frank Randal (1852–1917), and half a dozen others.[3][4]

In parallel Rooke was a studio assistant to Edward Burne-Jones, during the period 1868 to 1898. He also did work for Sydney Cockerell and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings; and exhibited at the Royal Academy and Grosvenor Gallery.[5] He contributed a painting to an 1882 book Bedford Park, celebrating the then-fashionable garden suburb of that name.[6]


Rooke married Leonora Jane Jones; the wood-engraver Noel Rooke was their son.[7]


  1. ^ Huon L. Mallalieu (1986). The Dictionary of British Watercolour Artists up to 1920. Antique Collectors' Club. p. 294. ISBN 1-85149-025-6.
  2. ^ Rachel Dickinson (2009). John Ruskin's Correspondence with Joan Severn: Sense and Nonsense Letters. MHRA. p. 291. ISBN 978-1-905981-90-8.
  3. ^ Scott Wilcox; Christopher Newall (January 1992). Victorian Landscape Watercolors. Hudson Hills. p. 39. ISBN 978-1-55595-071-2.
  4. ^ Mark Frost (2014). The Lost Companions and John Ruskin's Guild of St George: A Revisionary History. Anthem Press. p. 193. ISBN 978-1-78308-283-4. Mentioned are Angelo Alessandri, John Wharlton Bunney, Henry Stacy Marks, Charles Fairfax Murray, and Henry Roderick Newman.
  5. ^ Timothy Hilton (2002). John Ruskin. Yale University Press. p. 805. ISBN 978-0-300-09099-4.
  6. ^ Dollman, John Charles; Hargitt, Edward; Harrison, Thomas Erat; Jackson, F. Hamilton; Nash, Joseph, Jr.; Paget, H. M.; Rooke, Thomas; Trautschold, Manfred; Brooks, Vincent; Carr, Jonathan T.; Berry, Berry F. (1882). Bedford Park. Harrison and Sons. OCLC 193146366.
  7. ^ Horne, Alan. "Rooke, Noel". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/69374. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)

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