The Painting of Stephen Cook: Enhanced Naturalism in a Post-War British Figurative Tradition

This beautifully illustrated monograph, including more than 50 colour plates of the artist’s work—most of which appear here for the first time—is the first critical study of the work of the artist Stephen Cook (born 1952), and will serve as both an introduction to, and analysis of, his output in the context of a tradition of figurative art in post-war Britain.

The scrutiny of the subjects of these paintings point to a representation of a reality outside of the flux of things and of our everyday experience, albeit one that is derived from the immediately recognisable natural world. This is achieved not only through a method of close observation, but through the rigour of the application of that observation.


Stephen Miller is a visual arts author and scholar. He received his Master’s degree from King’s College London, in association with the National Gallery, London. He has contributed to a number of academic journals, exploring the subjects of fine art and theology, and is the author of three previous monographs on aspects of the visual arts.

“Stephen Miller has a gift for traversing periods and genres in British art and he proves the perfect writer to bring Stephen Cook’s paintings to wider attention and place them in historical and cultural context. These paintings of nature are exquisite and shine with a morning light akin to the first hours of Creation.”
Aaron Rosen
Director Luce Center for the Arts, Washington D.C. Visiting Professor, Sacred Traditions & the Arts, King’s College London and author of Art & Religion in the 21st Century

“Many of the epic histories of artistic Modernism have trouble accounting for the eccentricities and beauties of a British tradition of painting which does not abandon the figurative, and which celebrates the luminosity of landscapes and the contours of creatures. This book’s treatment of Stephen Cook can be read as a part of that important counter-history.”
Ben Quash
Director of Arts & the Sacred at King’s (ASK). Author of Found Theology and contributing writer to Anna Freeman Bentley: Mobility and Grandeur

“Stephen Miller has done us a service with this scholarly introduction to the remarkable artwork of Stephen Cook. The colour prints are stunning and Miller’s text is enlightening. He provides us with all the information we need to appreciate Cook’s oeuvre: his technique, his creative forebearers, and his epiphanic renderings of nature that seem to transfigure the subjects he paints so luminously.”
Addison Hodges Hart
Author of The Voyage of Life: The Sacred Vision of Thomas Cole

Buy This Book

ISBN: 1-5275-1882-5

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-1882-7

Release Date: 24th July 2023

Pages: 170

Price: £64.99

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ISBN: 1-0364-0607-5

ISBN13: 978-1-0364-0607-3

Release Date: 9th May 2024

Pages: 170

Price: £32.99

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