John Sell Cotman
Carnarvon 1800

Artwork details

John Sell Cotman 1782–1842
Date 1800
Medium Graphite, watercolour and gum arabic on paper
Dimensions Support: 256 x 346 mm
Acquisition Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

Caernarfon, with its magnificent castle, was a favourite tourist spot at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Many artists created images of its scenery.

Cotman was one of the most innovative watercolour artists of his generation. Here, he has abandoned the more detailed and incident-filled approach to landscape favoured by older artists such as Thomas Hearne and Paul Sandby. Instead, the composition is entirely about evocative light effects and sublime mystery.

September 2004

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