John Sell Cotman

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John Sell Cotman
A Scene from Milton's "Paradise Regained"
Pen and black ink, and wash and graphite on wove paper.
12 1/2 x 17 7/16 inches (318 x 444 mm)
Purchased on the Sunny Crawford von Bülow Fund 1978.

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Inscribed on verso, in graphite, He gave them hail stones for rain; fire / Mingled with the hail. ran along the ground.; in ink, Subject / Either tropick now / Gan thunder: At both ends of Heaven, the clouds, / From many a horrid rift abortive, pour'd / Fierce rain with Lightning mixd.Water with fire / In Ruin reconcil'd - / Milton. / Presidt. J.S. Cotman, - W havell. J Powell. P S Munn, T Webster. J Hayward. J Varley / Mr Crystal. - Visitor - Mr Stevens / May 3rd. Thursday. / 1804.

H.D. Hargraves, F.R.S.H.; his sale, Sotheby's, 30 March 1983, lot 107; by descent until 2002; acquired from Thomas Agnew and Sons, Ltd., London.

This drawing was executed during a meeting of the Sketching Society, a group of artists that included J.M.W. Turner and Thomas Girtin. As the group's president when he made this drawing, Cotman chose as the subject for the evening's sketching a scene from John Milton's Paradise Regained (Book IV, lines 409-13). Cotman's wash technique in the present drawing bears comparison with that of Thomas Girtin, whose drawing The Eruption of Mount Vesuvius, in the Thaw collection, also was made during a gathering of the Sketching Society. The new drawing joins three others by the artist in the Library's collection.

Associated names: 

Hargraves, H. D., former owner.
Milton, John, 1608-1674. Paradise regained.

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