Alexander Cozens

Mountainous Landscape with Cypresses


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Alexander Cozens 1717–1786
Watercolour on paper
Support: 448 × 570 mm
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996

Display caption

This is one of the largest and most elaborate of all Cozens's drawings. It is similar to the finished landscapes illustrated in 'A New Method', and like them was probably worked up from a blot.
To make a finished landscape, a sheet of tracing paper was first attached to the selected blot, and the outlines of the general composition indicated, together with any figures or animals which where to be added. These were presumably then transferred to a larger sheet of paper, and the sketch was then made with the brush in diluted drawing ink. More specific details were introduced, such as water, rocks or trees, and a 'a sky proper to the landscape'. The composition was then finished, paying particular attention to aerial perspective.

Gallery label, September 2004

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