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Alexander Cozens is best known for the treatises he wrote in which he attempted to categorise landscape types. His most famous is 'A New Method of Assisting the Invention in Drawing Original Compositions of Landscape'(1786), where he explained how to create imaginary landscapes by using ink blots. Paul Oppé wrote extensively about Cozens's theoretical approach to landscape, helping to elucidate his complex systems.
Cozens spent two years in Italy in the 1740s. Nearly sixty watercolours and drawings have survived from his stay in Rome, as well as a sketchbook. This drawing, although depicting a specific location in the Farnese Gardens, is reminiscent of the work of the classical masters of landscape, such as Gaspard Dughet.

September 2004