John Robert Cozens

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John Robert Cozens
Rome from the Villa Mellini
ca. 1783
Watercolor over graphite on wove paper.
20 7/8 x 29 3/4 inches (531 x 757 mm)
Thaw Collection.

Watermark: none visible through lining.
Most travelers arriving in Rome from the north first glimpsed the city from the promontory of Monte Mario, where Rome could be seen rising above the floodplain of the Tiber. Although Cozens accurately depicted a number of Roman monuments, such as St. Peter's and the Vatican Palace at the far right, this work is more a poetic evocation of the place than a descriptive view. The attenuated profiles of the trees on the left exaggerate the scale of the landscape, and the luminous sky and delicate profile of the Alban Hills in the distance envelop the city, conferring a dreamlike quality. -- Exhibition Label, from "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection"


Signed (?) in pen and black ink along lower edge, "Jn. Cozens" [abraded]. Inscribed on original mount, in pen and black ink, "JNO COZENS 1791/ Rome, from Near Villa Madama"; on verso, in pen and black ink at center of original mount, "Rome, from near the villa Madama"; in pen and brown ink at upper left, "Mr. Annesley's". Other illegible inscriptions in blue ink.

Mr. Annesley (Alexander [?], d. 1813); Christopher Wood Gallery, London, 1995; Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw, New York.
Associated names: 

Annesley, Mr., former owner.
Thaw, Eugene Victor, former owner.
Thaw, Clare, former owner.


The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY, "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection", 2017. Exh. cat., no. 65, repr.
The Thaw Collection : Master Drawings and Oil Sketches : Acquisitions since 1994. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 2002, no. 15, repr.

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