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Lake Albano and Castel Gandoflo





John Robert Cozens (c. 1752-1797)

Lake Albano and Castel Gandoflo



"The greatest genius who ever touched landscape" is how Turner viewed JR Cozens and Turner, along with other landscape artists, spent time during the early part of his career studying the work of Cozens.

This is one of several very similar watercolours showing the same view.

John Robert Cozens (1752-97), was a landscape painter. Most of his work derived from two continental journeys in 1776-79 and 1782-83, during which he visited Italy and Switzerland. On the first he was probably draughtsman to Richard Payne Knight, and on the second he was part of the entourage of William Beckford (a former pupil of his father).

In 1793 he became insane and was cared for by Dr Monro. Although his watercolours were based on sketches made on the spot, he by no means restricted himself to topographical exactitude and he often transposed landscape features in the interests of a more poetical composition. But he does not seem ever to have composed wholly from imagination.

His narrow but subtly gradated range of subdued colour is intensely evocative of the serene natural effects which appealed so strongly to his poetic melancholy. He was the most talented of the English landscape artists in the Picturesque tradition and his work was admired and copied by Constable (who called him 'the greatest genius that ever touched landscape'), Girtin, and Turner.

Article By: Dave Roberts.

First Published: 2007.



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