The Cotman Collection | 18

Cotmania. Vol. VII. 1931-2

Archive: SDK Sydney Decimus Kitson Archive
Reference Number: SDK/1/2/1/7
Page: 6 recto

  • Description

    Extracts from the Glasgow Herald and the Antique Collector on Augustus Walker's exhibition

    (1) Report of Augustus Walker's annual exhibition of artworks in his Bond Street gallery.
    (2) Extract from an article praising John Joseph Cotman as a pioneer; one work of his (1873) is described as 'impressionist '. (See also fol. 7r in this volume.)

    Date: 1931

  • Transcription

    "The noble tradition of British water-colours is regularly sustained by annual exhibitions of masterpieces, and of these shows Mr. Augustus Walker's take a high place. For the 27th year in succession he has gathered into his galleries in New Bond Street a selection of close on 200 examples of the art in the 18th and 19th centuries. We miss from it on this occasion anything by Girtin or Cozens, but otherwise the great names are all represented. There are two charming drawings in water-colour and chalk by Gainsborough. Of the two Turners from the Ruskin collection, there is one of 'Dover Castle,' dated from his earliest boyhood. Bonington and Rowlandson are here, the latter in, among others, a vivacious 'Return from the Hunt,' and Wheatley, De Wint, the Cotmans, and other masters, including Prout in a handsome 'Square of St. Mark's, Venice.' But still more interesting is the opportunity this exhibition gives of seeing the lesser known and rarer practitioners. A case in point is that of W. Williams, of Norwich, whose two drawings here, done in 1795, show an accomplishment in the manner of J. S. Cotman, who came a quarter of a century later.
    (From THE GLASGOW HERALD, July 1st.)

    Again, while everybody who knows anything about water-colour reverences the name of John Sell Cotman, and while of later years the work of his elder son Miles E. Cotman has been much more keenly appreciated—largely thanks to exhibitions held by Mr. Walker—much less than justice has yet been done to the work of his younger son John Joseph Cotman (1814-1878). Surely those who have had the temerity to consider him an inconsiderable third-rate artist will have to revise their opinion when they are confronted at Walker's by so delightfully vigorous and breezy a work as his "Norwich from the Yare." This water-colour, done in 1873, is far ahead of its age, for it is as fresh and sparkling as a Mark Fisher, and indeed is decidedly impressionist in its luminist style.
    Instead of belittling J.J. for not following his father more closely, we ought to give him credit for forging ahead in a new direction, and so being one of the pioneers of British water-colour.
    [Handwritten note by Kitson]
    from an article by Frank Rutter, 'Minor Masters of the Water-Colour'
    in "The Antique Collector"
    Aug 8, 1931.

Extracts from the *Glasgow Herald* and the *Antique Collector* on Augustus Walker's exhibition