• 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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