John Sell Cotman (1782-1842)
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John Sell Cotman (1782-1842)

A garden house on the banks of the river Yare

John Sell Cotman (1782-1842)
A garden house on the banks of the river Yare
signed 'Cotman' (lower right) and numbered '824' in Cotman's circulating collection (lower left) and with inscription 'Summer house on the Yare' (on the reverse)
pencil and watercolour, within the original Bulwer mount
11 7/8 x 8 7/8 in. (30.2 x 22.5 cm.)
The Rev. James Bulwer and by descent in the family to Henry Bulwer (d. 1952).
H.J. Bowden, 1953.
Dr. A.C. Hampson, 1973.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 5 June 1973, lot 122, where purchased by Leger Galleries.
with Leger Galleries, London, 1973.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 30 June 1981, lot 81, where purchased by the present owners.
C.C. Bell, 'John Sell Cotman, The Bulwer Collection', Walker's Quarterly, nos. 19-20, p. 27, no. 25.
Possibly Norwich, Norwich Society of Artists, 1811, no. 62.
London, Walker's Galleries, The Bulwer Collection of Works by J.S. Cotman, 4 - 25 June 1926, no. 25.
New Orleans, Isaac Delgado Museum of Art; Jacksonville, Cummer Gallery of Art; Nashville, The Tennessee Fine Art Center, Landscapes of the Norwich School, 1967, no. 35.
London, Leger Galleries, Exhibition of English Watercolours, 21 November - 28 December 1973, no. 21.
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Lot Essay

Cotman executed several versions of this composition: there is a pencil and wash version of the composition dated 1820, and a drawing signed 'Cotman' and dated '1800' is mentioned in S. Kitson, The Life of John Sell Cotman, 1937, p. 22. A copy of the present watercolour is in The Cecil Higgins Art Gallery (see E. Joll, Cecil Higgins Art Gallery Watercolours and Drawings, Bedford, 2002, p. 75). A later atmospheric watercolour of the same view was offered in these Rooms on 5 March 1974, lot 181 in which the little house appears crumbling and fantastical becoming engulfed by the surrounded trees as it teeters on the edge of the riverbank before a stormy and forboding sky.

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