Online Encyclopedia

JOHN SELL COTMAN (1782-1842)

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Originally appearing in Volume V07, Page 250 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JOHN SELL COTMAN (1782-1842), English landscape-painter and etcher, son of a well-to-do silk mercer, was born at Norwich on the ,6th of May 1782. He showed a talent for art and was sent to London to study, where he became the friend of Turner, T. Girtin and other artists. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1800. In 1807 he went back to Norwich and joined the Norwich Society of Artists, of which in 1811 he became president. In 1825 he was made an associate of the Society of Painters in Water-colours; in 1834 he was appointed drawing-master at King's College, London; and in 1836 he was elected a member of the Institute of British Architects. He died in London on the 24th of July 1842. Cotman's work was not considered of much importance in his own day, and his pictures only procured small prices; but he now ranks as one of the great figures of the Norwich school. He was a fine draughtsman, and a remarkable painter both in oil and water-colour. One of his paintings is in the National Gallery. His fine architectural etchings, published in a series of volumes, the result of tours in Norfolk and Normandy, are valuable records of his interest in archaeology. He married early in life, and had five children, his sons, Miles Edmund (1810-1858) and Joseph John (1814-1878), both becoming landscape-painters of merit; and his younger brother Henry's son, Frederic George Cotman (b. 185o), the water-colour artist, continued the family reputation.
End of Article: JOHN SELL COTMAN (1782-1842)
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