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This report is taken from PN Review 170, Volume 32 Number 6, July - August 2006.

From a Journal R.F. Langley

8 August 2005

The watercolours in the Cotman Gallery in the Castle Museum at Norwich are, of course, changed regularly. The present selection contains some of the very best. Cotman's own Marl Pit, for instance, Leman's Snowdon from Capel Curig, Bright's barn, done in Kent in 1847, and his chalk drawing of a cataract. 1847 was a year of brilliance I think, mostly because of John Middleton, who was in Kent, with Bright, and also in Norfolk, as witness his Water Gate at Alby, and the stream vanishing into a brick arch in a wood at Blofield, that year. Here today are several Middletons. There is a later, more worked up, more thickly and vividly coloured one, of Lynmouth, river with rocks, of 1850, regarded, say the notes, as being a little late for his best, but still shining. However, this morning and this after-noon, because I manage to take two sessions of an hour each, one before, one after lunch, there is this Study of Rocks and Trees, which I have not seen before. It must be about 1847, and it is a study, as it claims, but is as big as the Water Gate and the others.

Only the centre is brought to a finish. The left side is ghosted in, a rising track, the right an equally hinted slope falling away with sky open behind it. The foreground is out of focus rocks and clitter, ...


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