PROPERTY FROM DANIEL KATZ GALLERY, LONDON
JOHN ROBERT COZENS
London 1752 - 1797
LAKE ALBANO WITH CASTEL GANDOLFO
watercolour over pencil;
signed: John Cozens
unframed: 44.5 x 62.2 cm., 17¼ x 24½ in.
framed: 72 by 89.5 cm., 28 1/4 by 35 1/4 in.
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This is an impressive and rare work and it is in overall good condition. The blues, greys and pen and ink are all well preserve. The middle section of the sky has discoloured a little and it is likely that the fragile pigment gamboge yellow has disappeared - the lost this very fugitive tone often occurs in Cozen's work). The work is laid down onto its original, signed, mount. This has been trimmed.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
J. Leslie Wright;
Mrs Dorian Williamson;
A.P. Oppé, Alexander and John Robert Cozens, London 1952, p. 149.
London, Victoria & Albert Museum, 1971, no. 31;
Manchester, Whitworth Art Gallery, 1971, no. 31.
"This is a grand, hauntingly beautiful and powerful work by an artist that John Constable once described as ‘the greatest genius that ever-touched landscape.’
For me, the watercolour’s dimensions and rich tonality entirely sum up Cozens’ revolutionary aim: to produce with transparent colours something that could compete in terms of pictorial strength with oil painting. Other artists followed closely in his footsteps, but none with the same power of imparting such significance to a subject by subduing its topographical contents and enhancing its pictorial and emotional elements. It is not for nothing that he is known as the ‘father’ of the English watercolour school."
The countryside surrounding the Lakes of Albano and Nemi in the Alban Hills, south-east of Rome, was a favourite area for artists attracted by the spectacular scenery and by its associations with Roman history and classical poetry. Shortly after arriving in Rome in 1776, Cozens’s friend Thomas Jones recorded his impressions of the landscape ‘this walk around the lakes considered with respect to its classical Convulsions of nature in the remotest Ages…the various extensive & delightful prospects it commands is, to the Scholar, naturalist, Antiquarian and Artist…the most pleasing and interesting in the Whole World – And here I can not help observing with what new and uncommon Sensations I was filled on my first traversing this beautiful and picturesque Country – Every scene seemed anticipated in some dream – It appeared Magick Land’. Cozens had arrived in Rome by November 1776, accompanying Richard Payne Knight as his draughtsman. He was sketching in the area in April 1777; a pencil drawing of Lake Albano from a more easterly viewpoint is in the Soane Museum’s volume of ‘28 Sketches by J. Cozens in Italy. 1776 -1778’, and he must have made others from different points around the lake. This subject became one of Cozens’s most popular, for he repeated it in at least ten watercolour versions. Each is subtly different, sometimes more intense and brooding in character and some lighter-keyed and almost decorative.
This watercolour has a haunting, almost melancholic beauty. He has turned a familiar topographical view in to a work of the highest imaginative significance and one that is deeply emotionally charged.