• Near Sallanches, Savoy, France -
    Price on request

    Signed on original mount lower left: John Cozens 1778 and inscribed lower right: nr Salanche in Savoy, further inscribed on reverse of mount: Near Salanche in Savoy. and: This drawing lent to G.H. by Dr Richardson of the Times [Paper]

    Watercolour over pencil on laid paper

    36.8 by 53.7 cm., 14 ½ by 21 in.

     

    Provenance:

    Possibly Richard Payne Knight (1751-1824);

    Alexander J. Finberg (1866-1929), his sale, Christie’s, 8th July 1921, lot 19, bought Pawsey and Payne for £152.5s;

    Anonymous sale, Christie's, 20th July 1928, lot 152, 131.5s to Palser;

    With J. Palser and Sons, 27 King St, St James's, London;

    M.G.M. Bevan, 1951

     

    Literature:

    C. Bell and T. Girtin, `Drawings and Sketches of John Robert Cozens', Walpole Society, Vol. XXIII, 1934-1935, p.28, no. 6ii

     

    Exhibited:

    London, Leggatt Brothers, Exhibition of English Painters 1700-1850, 1951, no.37

     

    This impressive watercolour dates from Cozens’s first stay in Rome from November 1776 to 1779.  He left England in the summer of 1776 in the company of Richard Payne Knight (1751-1824), the antiquarian who is best known for his writings on picturesque beauty. They were in Geneva by August then continued south to Chamonix through Sallanches. They then went on north-east to Martigny and Bex before continuing to Interlaken and then Lake Lucerne. They went south through the Splugen Pass then on into Italy getting to Rome by early November. He remained in Rome until 1779 and returned again with William Beckford in 1782.

     

    This watercolour is based on an on-the-spot pen and brown ink and wash sketch made for Payne Knight and now part of a large group in the Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester (D.1892.4). The topography is the same although Cozens has added the shepherd and sheep to the finished watercolour and denuded the trees to the right of leaves. The mountain behind is likely to be the twin peak of the Tête du Colonney above Sallanches. This is part of a group of large scale watercolours executed in Rome, presumably for Payne Knight, in 1778. Examples from this group are now in the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Yale Center for British Art. A later version of this watercolour, dated 1779, was sold as part of the Newall collection at Christie’s on 13th December 1979, lot 22.

     

    The present work is typical of the simple grandeur of Cozen’s work. He used a limited palette of blues, greys and greens which is particularly effective in his mountain views emphasising their bleakness and enormity in contrast to the smallness of man, here represented by the shepherd and his flock. Constable described his work as `all poetry, the greatest genius that ever touched landscape’ and he is probably the most original and affecting artist of his generation.

  • Study of a Man, said to be Henry Fuseli -
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    Attributed to John Robert Cozens (1752-1797)

    Study of a Man, said to be Henry Fuseli

     

    Inscribed lower right: Fuseli Esqr R.A./Sketch by Cozens

    Black chalk

    With a sketch of fingers verso

    16.4 by 21.6 cm., 6 ¼ by 8 ½  in.

     

    Provenance:

    Frederick Richard Lee, R.A. (1798-1879)

     

    This previously unrecorded sketch originated in an album of drawings and watercolours by the Victorian artist Frederick Richard Lee, R.A. (1798-1879). No other similar drawing by Cozens is recorded but there is no reason to doubt the convincing inscription and the draughtsmanship is of high quality. It is possible that the inscription `Fuseli Esqr R.A.’ is in the hand of the artist with `Sketch by Cozens’ added at later date. Fuseli was appointed `R.A.’ in 1790.

     

    Cozens first met Henry Fuseli (1741-1825) in Rome in late 1776. Fuseli had arrived in May 1770 and stayed for eight years.  Cozens had arrived in Rome by 9th November 1776 when he is recorded as meeting Fuseli and a number of other artists in the English Coffee House. Cozens remained until 1779 so presumably they would have become well acquainted.  Peter Bower has dated the paper to the 1790s. Cozens was ill and in the care of Dr Monro by 1794 which suggests the drawing dates from the early 1790s. Fuseli was a great admirer of Cozens’s work writing `they are creations of an enchanted eye drawn with an enchanted hand…’.

     

    Fuseli was described as `rather short in stature, about five feet two inches in height, his limbs were well proportioned, his shoulders broad, and his chest capacious…. He was clean and neat in his person and dress, and very particular with his hair…’ (see John Knowles, The Life and Writing of Henry Fuseli, 1831, pp. 350-351).  A pen and ink sketch of Fuseli by Sir George Hayter in the British Museum, dated 1812, shows him wearing a similar hat.

     

    We are grateful to Peter Bower for his dating of the paper .
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