Alexander Cozens

Rocky Bay Scene


View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Oil paint on paper
Support: 160 x 187 mm
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996

Display caption

Cozens would have learned to use oils in Rome in the 1740s when he worked in the studio of the French landscape painter Claude-Joseph Vernet (1714-1789). He was especially interested in the technical aspects of oil painting, being familiar with various recipes for varnishes, as well as one for a light painting-oil containing finely powdered glass to secure quick drying. This is one of twelve oils by him which are known of today. They are mostly small landscape subjects, like this one, which seem to relate to the various treatises he was working on during his career. Alternatively, some of them may have been painted on commission for private clients.

Gallery label, September 2004