The Cotman Collection | 5

Cotmania. Vol. VII. 1931-2

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

  • Description

    Letter to Sydney Decimus Kitson, from Sydney E. Harrison, Curator of the Bowes Museum

    Harrison refers to a letter from Kitson to Major Morritt (1928) concerning a Cotman watercolour from the Victoria and Albert Museum, currently on exhibition in the Bowes Museum, of a river with cows watering, 1805-06. Harrison tentatively identifies the subject as Barnard Castle Bridge. The painting was perhaps made when Cotman was staying with the Morritts.

    Date: 30 May 1931

  • Transcription

    Telephone No. 35.

    30th May 1931
    Dear Sir,
    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.& 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.

Letter to Sydney Decimus Kitson, from Sydney E. Harrison, Curator of the Bowes Museum