The Cotman Collection | 25

Arthur Dixon letters

Archive: SDK Sydney Decimus Kitson Archive
Reference Number: SDK/1/3/1/1
Page: 13 verso

  • Description

    Letter of Arthur Dixon to John Joseph Cotman, 13 April 1834

    See summary at 13r

    Date: 1834

  • Transcription

    the result of a real apprehension, – all these render him in an especial manner a companion & guide in the walk you take which however you may, you can never sufficiently appreciate the qualities with which I enhance your loss, so often & so forcibly strike me during the frequent opportunities in which I enjoy his society that between them & the vanity & folly of his hearer, for the time I could almost fancy he had made an artist by transfusion of the dull clod that listens & admires. I was greatly gratified by your admiration of the works of the old Masters, a good prognosis according to a very a [sic] great man.
    “Whoever”, says Sir Joshua, “has so far formed his taste, as to be able to relish and feel the beauties of the great Masters, has gone a great way in his study, for merely from a consciousness of this relish for the right, the mind swells with an inward pride, and is almost as powerfully affected as if it had itself produced what it admires. Our hearts frequently warmed in this manner, by the contact of those whom we wish to resemble, will undoubtedly catch something of their way of thinking and we shall receive in our own bosoms some radiation at least of their fire and splendour. That disposition which is so strong in children still continues with us, of catching involuntarily the general air and manner of those with whom we are most conversant.” – I thought of you with pleasure & anticipation. – You must stick to them, have them constantly before you, that your mind may be impregnated with kindred ideas [& find them? – crossed out] and being accustomed to think the thoughts of the noblest and the brightest intellects may be prepared for the discovery & selection of all that is great and noble in Nature. –

Letter of Arthur Dixon to John Joseph Cotman, 13 April 1834