that it represented J. S. C. Curiously enough, that same evening, going home by the 6.5 train, I found myself sitting next to John Sell Cotman.
Dec: 19, 1932.
At the Burlington Fine Arts Club winter exh[ibitio]n of miscellaneous objects an oil painting by J. S. C. stands out conspicuously as the finest thing in the room.
Barges at Anchor (20" x 29") belonged to 1st Duke of Westminster, lent by Lady Dorothy Charteris. (widow of Ld Edward Grosvenor.) Terrick Williams was there & was equally enthusiastic about it. The sky is superb, the red underpainting showing thro' slightly. The blocks of the rigging are very definite but add to the design. There is a rusty Delwint-like brown about the hulls of the barges, a consummately painted mud foreground. Its condition is first rate. It must be classed among his first half dozen oils.
Isherwood Kay considers it to belong to the early period, 1808-10.
[…] Two English paintings of great interest are Gainsborough's "Romantic Landscape" - which has been cleaned with advantage since it was shown at Ipswich - and Cotman's "Boats at Anchor." Anybody who has not yet realised how Cotman to a great extent anticipated the "volumes" of Cezanne, should note the simplicity and solidity of the little figures on the barges in this splendid painting.
'Sunday Times', Dec. 18, 1932.