Valley of Oberhasli, Berne, Switzerland

John Robert Cozens,

WAG 8169

About this object

Cozens progressed from making topographical views of the landscape towards a more Romantic vision in his later works.

He was influenced by the writings of Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797). In his book 'A Philosophical Inquiry Into The Origin Of Our Ideas Of The Sublime and Beautiful', published in 1757, Burke used the term 'the sublime' as a way of describing the sense of awe and of God's presence that people experience when confronted with overwhelming natural phenomena such as mountains. Later writers, including Cozens' father, Alexander Cozens, came to associate mountains with 'surprise, terror, superstition, silence, melancholy, power and strength.' The composition of this scene gives the viewer the feeling that they are standing on a ledge, overlooking the vallery below. It invites us to take in the view and witness the sublime and the power of nature.

Cozens first sketched this scene in 1776 when travelling with the art connoisseur Richard Payne Knight (1750 - 1823). It was popular with Cozens supporters and he made several later versions including this one. Two others are at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Brtish Museum, both in London. The use of pure transparent watercolour and the monochromatic blue colour scheme are both typical of Cozens style.

Object specifics

  • Artist(s)
    John Robert Cozens (British: English, born:1752, died:1797)
  • Date
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Materials
    Watercolour; Paper
  • Measurements
    paper: 32.5 cm x 55.5 cm
  • Physical description
    Elevated view over a valley. In the middle distance two streams wind through the landscape. There are mountains in the far distance.
  • Related people
    Cecil Francis Joseph Beausire (Previous owner); John Robert Cozens (Artist/maker); Fine Art Society (Previous owner); Frank Hardie (Previous owner); Walker's Galleries (Previous owner)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 8169
  • Credit line
    Bequeathed to the Walker Art Gallery by C F J Beausire in 1972
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Collection
    From the Walker Art Gallery collections

Explore related

Publications

  • English Watercolours in the Collection of C F J Beausire

    Edward Morris

    Author: Edward Morris
    Publisher: Walker Art Gallery, Printed by Elliot Bros. & Yeoman Ltd.
    Date: 1970
    Description:

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Cecil Francis Joseph Beausire

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1972
    Disposal method: Bequeathed to the Walker Art Gallery
  • Fine Art Society

    Owned from: 1966
    How acquired: Purchased at Sotheby's on 16 July 1966, lot 25
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Walker's Galleries

    Owned from: 1962
    How acquired: Purchased at Sotherby's on 14 March 1962, lot 41
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Frank Hardie

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1962
    Disposal method: Sold at Sotherby's on 14 March 1962, lot 41

Inscriptions

Item inscriptions

  • Inscription text: John Cozens
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location:
  • Inscription text: Updated opinion from Martin Hardie asserting 8169 an original Cozens from the collection of Victor Rienacker.
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Back
Object view = Fine Art
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