Attrib. David Cox OWS, Figures on Rural Track -19th-century watercolour painting


An original 19th-century watercolour painting, Attrib. David Cox OWS Figures on Rural Track.

An engaging pastoral landscape bearing signature ‘David Cox’ at the lower left. The view is possibly in North Wales, the area most associated with David Cox's (1783-1859) later career and one for which he had deep affection. Cox’s pastoral landscapes typically contain figures, two travellers here adding a narrative element to the landscape.

The painting displays Cox’s looser later brushwork and atmospheric, heavy application of watercolour in places, blotted in the darks and heightened with a gum arabic wash to deepen their tone. Presented in a wash line mount and gilt frame. The painting has historically been laid down in its entirety on a backing board in order to shore up thinning to the paper in the figure area. It has then at a later date been mounted in a wash line mount and reframed by Savage Fine Art, Northampton. A name plate, presumably from the original frame, has been salvaged and secured to the new frame.

Please note that to ensure safe transit the painting will ship without glass in the frame.

Signed lower left.
Some minor age toning and scattered foxing. A patch of the paper has worn through creating a small hole to right of the right-hand figure. This is not especially visible due to being historically lined by a brown-toned backing board.
23.5cm x 32cm.
Framed. Frame size: 43 x 53 cm.

David Cox (1783-1859) is considered one of the greatest English landscape painters and was a major figure in the Golden Age of British watercolour.

Born in Deritend near Birmingham, he was the son of a blacksmith. In his youth Cox was apprenticed to a miniature painter and then to a scene painter, with whom he moved to London. By 1808 he was taking watercolour lessons with John Varley, who was to have a significant influence on his early style.

Cox regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1805, and in 1810 was elected President of the Associated Artists in Water Colour. In 1812 he was elected an Associate of the Society of Painters in Water Colour (Old Water Colour Society), and then Member in 1813. He exhibited there every year except 1815 and 1817, until his death.

In his early years Cox earned his living chiefly as a drawing-master. In 1814 he moved from London to Hereford, to take up appointment at a girls’ school, and it was during this period that he got to know the Welsh border country and Wales itself. In 1827 he returned to London, by now fairly successful as an artist and with many rich students.

Throughout the 1830s he made sketching tours in Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Wales and Kent. From around this time his watercolour style was loosening and broadening, focusing on wilder landscape subjects and the elemental effects of atmosphere and weather.

In later life Cox moved back to his native Birmingham, continuing to paint Welsh subjects. From 1844 until 1856 he spent summers at Bettws-y-Coed, where much of what is considered the artist’s best work was produced. The mountain scenery inspired some of his freest, most fluid handling of the watercolour medium.

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Product code: JM-984

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