The Cotman Collection | 57

Cotmania. Vol. VII. 1931-2

Archive: SDK Sydney Decimus Kitson Archive
Reference Number: SDK/1/2/1/7
Page: 17 recto

  • Description

    Kitson's diary entries for 24 and 25 June 1932

    At the Cotswold Gallery, Alexander Joseph Finberg [art historian, 1866–1939] shows SDK a good, Cotmanesque, oil painting. At the Independent Gallery, SDK sees Percy Moore Turner’s Rochester Castle, judged 'commonplace'.
    Sir Henry Hake considers the Cotman 'self-portrait' [see letter after fol. 14] probably by John Joseph Cotman and admires the pencil portrait of Mrs Cotman [see fol. 14r].
    At the Independent Gallery again, Percy Moore Turner shows SDK two works that he is repairing.

    Date: 1932

  • Transcription

    June 24, 1932. Went to the Cotswold Gallery, where Finberg showed me an oil painting, similar to the w[ater]c[olour] by P. S. Munn 1802, which he had a year or 2 back & illustrated in his catalogue. The painting belongs to Percy Lancaster, artist, of Southport. The oil has evidently been done from the same pencil sketch as the w[ater]c[olour]. It is very good, chromy [?], luminous, with a steely [?] & cloudy sky. Might be mistaken for a Cotman.
    Went on to the Independent Gallery & saw P.M.T’s “Rochester Castle”. Very blue sky, creamy castle, foliage in the Cotman manner, but commonplace. He thinks it earlier than 1825, but I don’t think it can be. The woman in foreground is dreadfully light in tone. If by Cotman, the work of a sick man.
    June 25, 1932. Met Hake at Blenheim. He, with Mrs H & Mrs Ponsonby, lunched here. He thought the Cotman ‘self-portrait’ (1841) was most probably by J.J.
    He considered the ‘Mrs. J.S.C’ pencil portrait to be a distinguished drawing. He couldn’t recognise a signature or date on it.
    At the Independent Gallery on June 24) P.M.T showed me ‘The Baggage Waggon’ & ‘The Mishap’ which he had been repairing. They are painted on paper, stuck down on to mahogany boards in 3 sections. The boards had shrunk stretching the paper to breaking point.

Kitson's diary entries for 24 and 25 June 1932