Rome from the Villa Mellini
Signed (?) at bottom center, in pen and black ink, Jn. Cozens
Cozens made two trips to Italy in the company of two important patrons: the first in 1776 with the antiquarian and connoisseur Richard Payne Knight and the second six years later with the wealthy young eccentric William Beckford. From sketches made on these trips, Cozens produced highly finished watercolors, such as this splendid view of Rome, which probably dates to the 1790s. This watercolor is the largest of three known versions of the subject by the artist; the other two are in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and the British Museum, London.