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A blasted tree in a landscape
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A blasted tree in a landscape

Circa 1780

Alexander Cozens (1717 - 1786)

Height: 31.5 cm; Width: 40.5 cm;

Graphite, upper right & recto, B
Inscription, inscription (modern), numbered & graphite, mount & verso:
A 21365
Signed & pen and ink (grey), mount & bottom left & recto, Alexr. Cozens
Inscription, mark, blindstamped, mount & bottom left (above signature) & recto:

Acquisition (source, method, date)
Spooner, William (Mr and Mrs); bequest; 1967

About this work
An obsessive theoriser, Alexander Cozens propounded his systems for composing imaginary landscapes and categorizing natural phenomena in various publications. This format of a large close-up tree resembles one of sixteen basic ‘types’ designed to arouse emotion in the viewer. An awesome effect is created by the ancient lightening-struck tree, most probably a blasted oak, a mythological symbol of divine wrath. (Permanent collection label)

Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

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