The Cotman Collection | 35

Cotmania. Vol. X. 1934-5

Archive: SDK Sydney Decimus Kitson Archive
Reference Number: SDK/1/2/1/10
Page: 16 recto

  • Description

    Letter to Kitson from Martin Hardie, Keeper of the Department of Prints and Drawings at the V&A museum

    Martin Hardie discusses the possible reasons for Cotman's colour change, of which he believes it was due to vying with Turner. Hardie informs Kitson he will send him Cotman prints from the Lady Powell collection which Kitson had previously requested.


  • Transcription

    13th June 1935

    My dear Kitson,
    Many thanks for your letter of June 10th and for the interesting points which you raise. It is, of course, an entire fallacy to suggest that Cotman's colour changed because of "the brighter light of Normandy". My own experience of Normandy is that the climate is very much that of England, as Dawson Turner rightly states in the very interesting letter which you quote. It is quite possible that Cotman heightened his colour more and more as gilt mounts and gold frames came into use. My own impression has always been that he most deliberately set out to vie with Turner. I do not know whether that is a view which you would be prepared to accept.
    I will send you prints of the three Cotmans from the Lady Powell collection, which you mention, in the course of the next few days. Many thanks for sending me a photograph of the very delightful "Dolgelly" now in your own possession. By the way, in your pedigree you should not state that this was sold by Lady Powell, but by her Executors.
    I am glad you enjoyed my article in 'The Times'. It at any rate contains some facts and not just talk. As you may know, I am retiring from the museum at the end of this year, and this makes it all the more difficult for me to find time for a lot of things I should like to do. I wish very much that I could come to see you and will bear the possibility in mind. Next year I hope I shall have more freedom.
    Yours very sincerely,
    Martin Hardie

Letter to Kitson from Martin Hardie, Keeper of the Department of Prints and Drawings at the V&A museum