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Creator:
John Robert Cozens, 1752–1797, British
Title:

Between Chamonix and Martigny

Additional Title(s):

The Aiguille Verte

Date:
1776
Medium:
Pen and black ink, watercolor, graphite, gray wash and brown wash on medium, slightly textured, cream laid paper mounted on moderately thick, smooth, cream wove paper
Dimensions:
12 15/16 x 17 11/16 inches (32.8 x 45 cm), 9 5/16 x 14 1/8 inches (23.7 x 35.9 cm), and 9 5/16 x 14 1/8 inches (23.7 x 35.9 cm)
Inscription(s)/Marks/Lettering:

Inscribed in graphite, lower left on mount: "JOHN ROBERT COZENS: THE AIGULLE VERTE | (65/9/14/2)(PM2156)"; Inscribed in graphite, lower right on mount: "BETWEEN CHAMONIX AND MARTIGNY"; inscribed in black ink, upper right on back: "Savoy | 8"; inscribed in black ink, upper left to upper center on back: "Between Chamounix & Martinach [sic] | August 30-1776 | No. 16"; inscribed in graphite, lower left on back: "(65/9/14/2) | (PM 2156)"; inscribed in graphite, lower right on back: "3758"; inscribed in graphite, lower right on back: "COZENS, John Robert | The Aiquille Verte"

Watermarked, center on back (when read the correct way around; written vertically downwards): "C. TYSON"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
B1975.4.1103
Classification:
Drawings & Watercolors
Collection:
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
clouds | geology | Grand Tour | gray | height | hills | ice | landscape | monochrome | mountain range | mountains | peak | pine | rocks (landforms) | snow | travel | trees | weather
Associated Places:
Alps | Chamonix-Mont-Blanc | Europe | France | Martigny-les-Bains
Access:
View by request in the Study Room [Request]
Note: The Study Room is open by appointment. Please visit the Study Room page on our website for more details.
Link:
https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:8863
Export:
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IIIF Manifest:
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John Robert trained with his father, and Between Chamonix and Martigny readily shows the influence of the elder Cozens. The drawing depicts the vast mountains pass through Switzerland that John saw in 1776, on his way to Italy in the company of the young Richard Payne Knight (see cat. no. 14), making his grand tour. Although it is inscribed specifically "August 30 1776" on the reverse, this is one of the three versions of the scene, which suggests that it was worked up at a later date from original pencil sketches made in August. It was one of the fifty-seven commemorative drawings of Swiss scenes that Cozens presented to Payne Knight after the tour. It is tempting to suppose that Cozens was trained to appreciate such rugged landscapes before he had ever seen them in person, for the parallels between this work and Alexander Cozens's own Mountain Tops (A Mountain Study) (cat. no. 2) are obvious. Not only do both present an awesome prospect, but John also borrows his father's distinctive hatched brushstroke and monochrome palette. In the same decade of the 1770s, Alexander Cozens was in the process of working on his treatise The Various Species of Landscape Composition, in Nature, which included mountainous imagery. On the other hand, this work predates many of Alexander's own sublime mountain prospects, and it is conceivable that the influence might have run from son to father as much as father to son. Either way, before John reached Italy, he and his father were producing very similar work, depicting landscapes that conformed to the conventions of Edmund Burke's philosophy of the sublime.

Matthew Hargraves

Hargraves, Matthew, and Scott Wilcox. Great British Watercolors: from the Paul Mellon collection. New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, 2008, p. 46, no. 17

The English Prize - The Capture of the Westmorland - An Episode of the Grand Tour (Yale Center for British Art, 2012-10-04 - 2013-01-13) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

The English Prize - The Capture of the Westmorland - An Episode of the Grand Tour (Ashmolean Museum, 2012-05-17 - 2012-08-27) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Great British Watercolors from the Paul Mellon Collection at the Yale Center for British Art (Yale Center for British Art, 2008-06-09 - 2008-08-17) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Great British Watercolors from the Paul Mellon Collection at the Yale Center for British Art (The State Hermitage Museum, 2007-10-23 - 2008-01-13) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Great British Watercolors from the Paul Mellon Collection at the Yale Center for British Art (Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2007-07-11 - 2007-09-30) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

The Beautiful, The Sublime, and The Picturesque (Washington University Gallery of Art, 1984-02-19 - 1984-04-08) [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]

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, British watercolour drawings in the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, Victoria, BC, 1971, p. 2, no. 9, ND1928 .A76 1971 (LC) (YCBA) [YCBA]

C.F. (Charles Francis) Bell, The Drawings And Sketches of John Robert Cozens, A Catalogue With An Historical Introduction , Volume of the Walpole Society, vol. 23, 1934-1935, p. 28, no. 8, pl. Ib, N12 W35 A1 (LC)+ Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

Burlington Fine Arts Club, Catalogue of a collection of drawings by John Robert Cozens with some decorative furniture and other objects of art, Burlington Fine Arts Club, London, 1923, p. 31, no. 39, pl. XXI, NJ18 .C832 B87 1923 (LC)+ Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

Burlington Fine Arts Club, Exhibition of the Herbert Horne collection of drawings, with special reference to the works of Alexander Cozens, with some decorative furniture and other objects of art, Burlington Fine Arts Club, London, 1916, p. 30, no. 70, N5055 .B9 (LC)+ Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

Louis Hawes, Presences of Nature : British Landscape, 1780-1830, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1982, pp. 6-7, 114, pl. 4, ND1354.4 H38 (YCBA) [YCBA]

David H. Solkin, Art in Britain 1660-1815, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2015, pp. 229-30, 332, fig. 232, N6766 S65 2015 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Washington University Gallery of Art, The beautiful, the sublime, and the picturesque : British influences on American landscape painting, St. Louis, 1984, pp. 21-22, 64-65, no. 36, ND1351 .B42 (LC) (YCBA) [YCBA]

Whitworth Art Gallery, Watercolours by John Robert Cozens : Whitworth Art Gallery / 6 March to 12 April 1971 : Victoria and Albert Museum / 22 April to 16 May 1971, Wilmslow, Cheshire, 1971, pp. 13, 40, no. 1, NJ18 .C832 W45 (LC) (YCBA) [OCLC]

Andrew Wilton, The Art of Alexander and John Robert Cozens, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1980, p. 39, no. 87, pl. 33, NJ18 C83 W55 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Yale Center for British Art, Great British watercolors : from the Paul Mellon Collection, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2007, pp. 46-47, no. 17, ND1928 .Y35 2007 (LC)+ Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]


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