Bolton Abbey; Study of Trees at Bolton Abbey (Verso)
Once thought to be a view of Tintern Abbey in the Wye Valley, this watercolour of Bolton Abbey in Wharfedale, North Yorkshire is typical of Cox. He produced many such scenes in watercolour, focusing on picturesque rural views. Encouraged by English painter and draughtsman John Varley (1778 - 1842), Cox decided to make a living as a watercolourist and drawing master. He briefly worked at the Farnham Military Staff College and published the first series of drawing manuals in 1811. In 1814 Cox moved with his family to Hereford for a teaching position at Miss Croucher's School for Young Ladies, where he lived until 1827 when he returned to London. He retired from his teaching practice to live at Harborne, near Birmingham in 1841 where he concentrated on oil painting. In June 1853 Cox suffered a stroke that seriously affected his vision and concentration and limited the amount of new work he could undertake.