The Cotman Collection | 77

Cotmania. Vol. VII. 1931-2

Archive: SDK Sydney Decimus Kitson Archive
Reference Number: SDK/1/2/1/7
Page: 25 recto

  • Description

    Kitson's diary entry for 23 August 1932; copy of letter by J. S. Hayward (1800)

    Visit to J. Howard Barnes to see his ‘Sketching Society’ drawings and two Cotman pencil drawings; transcript of letter by John Samuel Hayward

    Date: 1932

  • Transcription

    Aug: 23, 1932. Motored to Theydon Bois & spent the night with Mr J. H. Barnes. Went thro’ his ‘Sketching Society’ drawings again. The Cotmans are extraordinarily strong & virile especially the ‘Woodland Scene’ and the 'Landscape with Castle['], both of which seem to belong to 1804. The water-mark on the ‘Ode to Fear’ is 1801, the drawing itself is perhaps 1802. There is another lot (5 drawings) of ‘Virgil & Dante at the Bridge’, one of which w[oul]d seem to be by Cotman: one is signed Cristall, another might be by Varley, & another by Munn. All the Cotman drawings are inscribed on back ‘J. C. Cotman.

    Copy of a copy, kept by
    J S Hayward of his letter addressed to
    Sir Geo: Beaumont dated July 23rd 1800
    However indignantly a great man may turn from the Adulation of the Multitude I cannot for a moment suppose that the still voice of gratitude will be offensive to you — if it is I am sorry — as the Impulse I cannot nor wish not to stifle — The very generous manner in which you complyd with my request — in sending me some drawing paper when at Conway — will ever be remembered and will ever claim my warmest thanks. I felt extremely chagrined at being obliged to retire from a Spot which nature and Art have combined to render invaluable to the Artist. With the simple remembrance of these sketches I have made will be ever dear as they were furnished in some degree by your generosity and I will not say how much my mind might not have been affected by the recollection of your Genius — small causes will produce great effects in the mind — as well as through every part of Nature[.] This language Sir I conceive I have an exclusive right to use. It is not asking a favour or I had not. Having now fulfilled what my mind prompted as a duty Receive the warmest thanks of your much Obliged Admirer.
    (signed) J. S. H.

    [Note by Kitson]
    // Barnes has a pencil drawing (with slight sepia wash in parts) of Conway Castle from the other wide, by Hayward, dated July 9, 1800. He also has a pencil drawing of Conway Castle, done from the same position as my Cotman, with notes in ink – ‘bright’, ‘shadow’, ‘gravel bank’, ‘wood’[,] ‘water’, etc. – watermark of paper 1794.

Kitson's diary entry for 23 August 1932; copy of letter by J. S. Hayward (1800)