BOWES MUSEUM, BARNARD CASTLE
Telephone No. 35.
CURATOR and SECRETARY: SYDNEY E. HARRISON
30th May 1931
In 1928 you wrote to Major Morritt and enclosed a list of Cotman's Drawings on the Greta, and after enumerating 13 that you had noted mention a 'beautiful water colour in the V.& A museum of the bend of of [sic] a river, with cows watering, is probably the Tees, just above the junction, it dates from 1805-6."
At the present time I have an Exhibition in this Museum the Historical Series of British Water-Colour Paintings belonging to the Circulating Series of the V.&A. museum which contains a Cotman obtained by the V.& A.in 1928, which I have identified as of Barnard Castle Bridge with the Castle in the background. It is entitled Bridge and Cows, and its official number is Circ.313-1928. [He - crossed out] has altered the bridge slightly, and brought in the houses on the Yorkshire side of the River more into the centre of the bridge w<\i>th the ostensible reason of putting in a small arch to carry the eye up the River.
The colouring is identical with his Greta Bridge, and in view of what you have written to Major Morritt, I am confident that it must belong to the same period. This picture of Barnard Castle Bridge is illustrated in the Review of Aquisitions for 1928 Plate 56, which you could see at the V.& A., or better still, if you are in this neighbourhood before July 13th, you could see the original here.