The Cotman Collection | 83

Cotmania. Vol. VII. 1931-2

Archive: SDK Sydney Decimus Kitson Archive
Reference Number: SDK/1/2/1/7
Page: 28 recto

  • Description

    Kitson's diary entry for 26 August 1932; extract from Johnson, English Painting

    A further visit to John Sell Cotman of Reading: works by John Sell Cotman (82-83); extract from Charles Johnson, English Painting, comparing Whistler's Nocturnes to Cotman

    Date: 1932

  • Transcription

    (82) A pencil portrait (unframed) of a stout old person, turned to l[eft] (by J. S. C) “Dec 26, 1828”, now S. D. K.
    (83) A pencil portrait (unframed) ¾ face of cynical looking middled [sic] aged man, (by J. S. C) “Sep 16, 1819”, water-mark 1816. now S. D. K.
    Extract from “English Painting” by Charles Johnson, M.A. (Official Lecturer at the N[ational] G[allery]) 1932.
    “Whistler’s nocturnes have another quality, also imitated from Hokusai & Hiroshingé [sic, i.e Hiroshige] and also new to English art (except for some of Cotman’s experiments) – an absence of modelling amounting almost to flatness in the objects represented, which gives an opportunity for [a – crossed out] severe simplicity of design. Whistler would cover his canvas with a number of thin layers of paint, almost as though he were working in water-colours. He was also rigidly economical with the colours that he used, systematically repeating the same tints throughout a design, as in The Symphony in White No. 2 (N.G 3418) of 1864.”

Kitson's diary entry for 26 August 1932; extract from Johnson, *English Painting*