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A Ruined Tower

John Sell Cotman (1782-1842)



11 ¼ x 7 ¾ inches

'Chris Beetles Summer Show', Chris Beetles Gallery, 2019, No 24

Architecture is central to the imagery of John Sell Cotman, whether in injecting Romantic atmosphere or providing antiquarian interest. One favourite motif, among the variety of buildings that he depicted, is the isolated tower, standing proud against the sky. This appears in drawings and watercolours made across his career from early visits to Wales to late tours of Normandy. The ruined tower shown here, while yet unidentified, includes many of the elements that appealed to Cotman, including its setting (against hills and above water), its stylistic details (an array of round arches) and its Picturesque decay.

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