John Sell Cotman: A Harbour for the Soul #5 Van Dyck Study

This is the fifth article in a series that began three years ago with a rediscovered watercolour of ‘The Student’ by John Sell Cotman. That led to the consideration of several works that embodied ambitions that Cotman had for his artistic life in Norwich, and his eventual disappointment. Here we consider a drawing that appeared … Continue reading John Sell Cotman: A Harbour for the Soul #5 Van Dyck Study

Cotman and St Benet’s: Part 5; Later Works

This is the fifth of a series of articles exploring Cotman's association with St Benet's Abbey, Norfolk. In Part 1 and Part 2 we considered Cotman’s early treatments of the subject, in part 3 an etching published in 1813 and in part 4 works closely related to the etching. Here we turn our attention to … Continue reading Cotman and St Benet’s: Part 5; Later Works

Cotman, Bloomfield and The Ploughed Field

This article proposes a source for John Sell Cotman’s famous watercolour of ‘The Ploughed Field’ at Leeds Art Gallery. In the online catalogue of the Cotman collection at Leeds http://www.cotmania.org, I describe the watercolour as ‘the exemplar of his turn towards reticence and understatement… the supreme exercise in undemonstrative refinement and subtlety of its time’. … Continue reading Cotman, Bloomfield and The Ploughed Field

Cotman’ and St Benet’s Abbey: Part 2

This is the second part of an article exploring Cotman's association with St Benet's Abbey, Norfolk. In 1811 Cotman committed himself to a major series of etchings of Norfolk antiquarian subjects. The work was to become his primary preoccupation for the next five or six years, and he threw himself into it with several excursions … Continue reading Cotman’ and St Benet’s Abbey: Part 2

Cotman and St Benet’s Abbey, Norfolk: Part 1

This is a further instalment in a series that retraces Cotman’s footsteps through his native county of Norfolk. Here we visit the isolated site of St Benet’s Abbey. This stands in a marshy plain near the junction of the rivers Ant and Bure about ten miles directly ENE of Norwich, but much further by road, … Continue reading Cotman and St Benet’s Abbey, Norfolk: Part 1