The Cotman Collection | 16

Cotmania. Vol. XII. 1937

Archive: SDK Sydney Decimus Kitson Archive
Reference Number: SDK/1/2/1/12
Page: 7 recto

  • Description

    The Life of John Sell Cotman by Sydney Decimus Kitson.

    Cutting from Faber and Faber's Spring List of books, 1937.

    Date: 1937

  • Transcription

    {Cutting from Faber and Faber's Spring List of books, 1937}
    The Life of John Sell Cotman

    It is one of the difficulties of publishing that a book about an artist is generally taken by the public to be a book about art. We want, therefore, to stress the fact that Mr. Kitson's book is a biography. It narrates the chequered career of a man of genius, born in a provincial English town, who became a great artist; and it is a book which everybody who enjoys reading about the lives of real people will find of absorbing interest, whether he cares much or little about the history of English painting.

    Public appreciation of Cotman's art has been growing steadily in recent years; but hitherto only short monographs have appeared concerning the life and work of one of the most interesting of all English artists. Mr. Kitson, whom the cognoscenti already know to be the greatest living authority upon Cotman, has now written the book for which the public has long been waiting. He has had access to a large number of letters written by Cotman at various periods of his life, and has used them, with great effect, to round out a story never before fully told. His book enables the artistically minded reader to follow Cotman's development with new insight. For a wider circle of readers it relates, in all its human detail, the life of a man who rose above his natural environment and yet was continually betrayed into disaster by the defects of his own temperament.

    The volume is illustrated by about 160 reproductions of water-colours, oil paintings, sepias, pencil-drawings and etchings, which have been selected as typical of the very wide range of Cotman's achievement. Mr. Kitson has given little space to purely asthetic criticism, but he conveys all the information about the growth and changes of Cotman's style which the reader, specially interested in such matters, needs to have.

    Size 9½ x 6½ inches. With about 160 reproductions in collotype. 25s.

    Faber's Spring List. 1937.

*The Life of John Sell Cotman* by Sydney Decimus Kitson.