John Sell Cotman

Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

Cotman, John Sell

(kŏt`mən), 1782–1842, English landscape painter and etcher. He was a leading representative of the Norwich school. Cotman studied in London and in 1806 settled in Norwich where he opened an art school. He suffered periods of melancholia throughout his life. He took up etching c.1810 and produced several series of etchings of English, and later French, antiquities. His Liber Studiorum (1838) is an outstanding work in this medium. For the last nine years of his life he was a drawing master at King's College, London. Although Cotman's work was but little appreciated in his day, it is now highly prized for its fine color, decorative and structural qualities, and sustained poetic mood. He is best known for his watercolors and drawings, of which the British Museum possesses many, including the famous Greta Bridge. Cotman's oil paintings are in many British galleries.


See catalog by V. G. R. Rienaecker (1953).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the lull that followed he read a life of the Norfolk artist John Sell Cotman (1782-1842), thought hard about the nature of English art and embarked on a series of topographical watercolours.
The collection was expanded on the Sunny Crawford von Bulow Fund, and includes approximately 40 works by Louis-Nicolas De Lespinasse, Richard Wilson, John Sell Cotman, Eugene Delacroix, and others.
This particular painting I by John Sell Cotman I is probably an abstract of Cromer beach.
And the painters of clouds, from John Sell Cotman to the French Impressionists, usually included at the bottom of their pictures a pasture with cows.
Even so, this letdown in splendor is offset by the inclusion of John Sell Cotman's Hell Cauldron (1805), a watercolor landscape whose crisp stylings are somehow both appropriate and antithetical to its medium.
John Sell Cotman was an outsider who applied to become a Member of the Old Society in 1806 and was rejected.
There was also a new auction record for John Sell Cotman. His watercolour of picturesque ruins, Part of the Refectory of Walsingham Abbey, Norfolk, made 338,500 [pounds sterling].
Among work featured by other "fresh air" artists are paintings by John Sell Cotman; Francis Danby; George Stubbs' scenes of Newmarket and John Crome's curious Moonrise on the Yare, all silhouette and yellow light.
They include works by JMW Turner, Paul Sandby, JR Cozens, John 'Warwick'' Smith, Thomas Varley, Thomas Girtin, Anthony Vandyke, Copley Fielding, Peter de Wint, David Cox and John Sell Cotman.
The eight-lecture season also includes Medieval England, Cambodia, the USA's west coast and art historian David Hill on John Sell Cotman. Details from Brian White on 01325 353312.
Harewood's big summer exhibition, until October 30, features 81 paintings of Yorkshire and Humberside by John Sell Cotman (1782-1842) and takes its title from Jane Austen's novel, Sense and Sensibility.