- Museum number
Mountain Tarn; a small lake in the foreground, with a number of fence posts in the water, mountains in the distance
- Production date
Height: 180 millimetres
Width: 265 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- 'A Mountain tarn' is similar in style to an unfinished work in the Reeve collection entitled Cader Idris (1902,0514.26), and watercolours in Norwich and Cardiff with the same title (see A.W. Moore, ‘ John Sell Cotman 1782-1842’, Bicentenary Exhibition Catalogue, Norfolk Museums Service, 1982, cat. 122). The triangular peak here is in fact more like a recollection of Snowdon, so often depicted by John Varley, and it is one of Varley’s basic principles of composition which Cotman follows in inventing the middle ground here, with the ridge on the left echoing the shape of the central mountain.
This drawing was included in the 2005 exhibition: Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, 'John Sell Cotman: The Reeve Collection', for which there is an online exhibition catalogue on the Norwich Castle website [http://www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/Visit_Us/Norwich_Castle/Past_Exhibitions/2005/Cotman_in_the_British_Museum/index.htm].
Reproduced in 'Cotman' by L. Binyon, Studio Special Number, Summer 1903, C25
L. Stainton, ‘British Landscape Watercolours, 1600-1860’, 1985, no. 131:
In the mid-1830s Cotman experimented with watercolour combined with a thickening agent (perhaps derived from flour paste or size) which gave the medium some of the qualities of oil paint. Not only was the depth of colour intensified, but the pigment had a texture that enabled it to be to some extent manipulated. The present drawing is one of a group of Welsh subjects presumably based on impressions and recollections of his sketching tours in Wales in 1800 and 1802.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1888 Jul, Norwich Art Circle, 9th Exhibition, 'Drawings by John Sell Cotman', no.181
1888 Nov, Burlington Fine Arts Club, no.60
1985 BM, British Landscape Watercolours 1600-1860, no.131
1991 Jan-Mar, Ohio, Cleveland Mus of Art, BM English Watercolours, no. 59
1991 Mar-Jun, N Carolina Mus of Art, BM English Watercolours, no. 59
2002 Feb-May, BM, 'John Sell Cotman; The Poetry of Nature', no cat
2005 Mar-Jul, Norwich, Castle Museum & Art Gallery, 'John Sell Cotman: The Reeve Collection', no.80
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number