- Museum number
Drawing from an album, view of the fortifications to the south of Porto Mediceo in Leghorn (Livorno) seen from the lighthouse; left, fortezza di Porta Murata, the separating Fosso Reale and to the right the lazaretto of San Rocco; plain with scattered houses and mountains beyond.
Pen and black ink, with watercolour
- Production date
- 1746 (circa)
Height: 183 millimetres
Width: 240 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- From an album of drawings (1867,1012.1-52) made by Alexander Cozens during his visit to Italy c.1746. A note formerly attached to the cover of the album (now mounted separately, 1867,1012.1*) describes the subsequent history of the drawings: 'Alexander Cozens, in London, Author of these Drawings, lost them & many more, in Germany by their dropping from his Saddle when he was riding in his way from Rome to England, in the year 1746. / John Cozens his Son being at Florence in the year 1776 purchaced them. / When he arrived at London in the year 1779 he delivered the Drawings to his Father.'
The volume is recorded in the Keeper's report to the Trustees, October 1867: "From Mrs Smith 10.10.0 [pounds] a volume of 51 pen sketches by A. Cozens. Mentioned by Leslie and Redgrave (A Century of Painters, 1866, I, pp. 377-8) in their respective wks'.
K Sloan, 'A Noble Art', 2000, no.75:
The son and grandson of English shipbuilders to Peter the Great, Alexander Cozens was born in Russia and lived in Archangel and St Petersburg before being sent to school in London at the age of ten. By 1737 he had already learnt to draw and etch, and was probably apprenticed to a painter or engraver, like George Lambert (cat. 61) or John Pine. In 1742, the latter engraved Cozen's view of Eton College and later became his father-in-law. In the early 1740s, Alexander returned to his mother and siblings who had remained in Russia, where a pension from the Czarina was dependant upon him learning his father's trade of shipbuilding, but around 1745 he sailed to Italy to study drawing and painting. His earliest landscape drawings are clearly influenced by the popular Dutch style characterized by the etchings of Waterloo (see cat. 117) which he was later to recommend to others for learning to draw. But his artistic education clearly also included lessons in perspective and views of ships and dockyards familiar to him in the area of his family's original home of Deptford and Woolwich, as well as in Archangel and St. Petersburgh. As he himself noted in his application for the position of drawing master at Christ's Hospital in 1749/50, he had taken many 'Coasting Prospects' at sea on several voyages. According to Leslie who saw the group of around fifty drawings in the hands of a descendant, they dropped from Cozens's saddle in Germany on his return to England and were later found in Florence by his son and returned to him. They remained with the artist's descendants until their purchase by the Museum in 1867. The date of 1746 appears on one of the Roman drawings, but the dates of his arrival and departure are not known. The drawings include coasting prospects and views of harbours. These two drawings with one other in the collection (LB 24(a)) form sections of a panoramic view of Spezia, an important fortified naval dockyard on the Ligurian coast north of Leghorn (Livorno) which Cozens also drew, and Porto Longona on the Isle of Elba to the south (see cat. 76).
Literature: C.R. Leslie, A Hand-book for Young Painters, 1853 (see Oppé 1952); Redgrave, A Century of Painters, 1866, I, pp. 377 8; Oppé, pp. 11,12; Sloan Cozens 1986, pp. 21-8.
Since the above catalogue was written, Bent Sorenson has convincingly argued that this is in fact the right hand side of a three-drawing panoramic view of Leghorn taken from the light house Fanale dei Pisani, (with 1867,1012.22 and 21 to the left of this view). (communication 20 March 2010, maps and plans in the dossier on this drawing).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2000 May-Sep, BM P&D, 'A Noble Art', no.75(a)
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number