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Alexander Cozens, 1717–1786

Roman Sketchbook

Materials & Techniques:
Sketchbook with sketches in graphite, pen and black ink, pen and brown ink, black wash, gouache and gray wash on medium, slightly textured, cream laid paper, bound in vellum
Spine: 7 5/8 inches (19.4 cm), Sheet: 7 3/8 x 5 1/8 inches (18.7 x 13 cm)

Inscribed in pen and brown ink inside front cover, center: "Notes and sketches by | Alexander Cozens, | my great grandfather. J.Y."; inside back cover in graphite, upper left: "Peggy Quere"; in graphite and red chalk, center: "2"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawings & Watercolors-Sketchbooks
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
architectural subject | buildings | forum | Grand Tour | ruins | sketches | trees
Associated Places:
Italy | Rome
Accessible by appointment in the Study Room [Request]
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IIIF Manifest:

For the British artist studying in Italy, the sketchbook was a crucial tool. Three on "classic ground" the act of drawing focused the attention and aided the understanding. Back in Britain the sketchbook provided not only a record of the art and landscape encountered but also a repertoire of poses, figural groupings, and compositional ideas from the ancients and the masters of the Renaissance and Baroque or of richly evocative landscape elements that could be incorporated into their own art. Alexander Cozens, one of the first British landscape painters to travel to Italy, arrived in Rome in 1746. His sketchbook from his Roman visit include records in pencil out-line of the Roman landscape and antiquities, compositional studies, and lists the procedures for drawing and study. His pedagogical and theoretical orientation is already very mucevidencedence.

Scott Wilcox

Wilcox, Forrester, O'Neil, Sloan. The Line of Beauty: British Drawings and Watercolors of the Eighteenth Century. Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2001. pg. 126, cat. no. 105, N5220 M552 P38 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

The Line of Beauty : British Drawings and Watercolors of the Eighteenth Century (Yale Center for British Art, 2001-05-19 - 2001-08-05) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

Classic Ground - British Artists and the Landscape of Italy, 1740-1830 (Yale Center for British Art, 1981-07-29 - 1981-09-20) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

The Art of Alexander and John Robert Cozens (Yale Center for British Art, 1980-09-17 - 1980-11-16) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Acquisitions : The First Decade 1977-1986, Yale Center for British Art , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1986, p. 25, no. 79, N590.2 A7 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Duncan Bull, Classic ground : British artists and the landscape of Italy, 1740-1830, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1981, pp. 3, 60, nos. 89 and 89a, ND1354.4 B85 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Adolf Paul Oppé, A Roman sketch-book by Alexander Cozens, Volume of the Walpole Society, 16, Walpole Society, 1927, pp. 81-91, N12 W35 A1 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Adolf Paul Oppé, Alexander & John Robert Cozens, With a reprint of Alexander Cozens' A new method of assisting the invention in drawing original compositions of landscape , A. and C. Black, London, 1952, pp. 13-20, NJ18 C83 O66 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Kim Sloan, Alexander and John Robert Cozens, the poetry of landscape , Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1986, pp.17-20, NJ18 C83 S56 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Sotheby's sale catalogue : Important eighteenth and nineteenth century English drawings and watercolours : 16 March 1978, Sotheby's, March 16, 1978, pp. 30, 34-5, lot 46, Auction Catalogues (YCBA)

Scott Wilcox, Line of beauty : British drawings and watercolors of the eighteenth century, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2001, pp. 126, 128, no. 105, NC228 W53 2001 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Andrew Wilton, The Art of Alexander and John Robert Cozens, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1980, pp. 7, 19-23, no. 2, pl. 1, NJ18 C83 W55 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

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