Boy Opening Gate for Sheep

Boy Opening Gate for Sheep by David Cox (1783–1859). Watercolour on paper, 267 x 362 mm. Tate Britain N05616. Bequeathed by Travers Buxton 1945. Click on image to enlarge it.

From the Tate Britain website

Cox began to break down the dense washes of his earlier style towards a new fragmentation, that was unlike the fine hatching and stippling of watercolour stalwarts like Hunt. Instead he used a looser, highly flexible method of painting in nervous flicks of the brush. This reinterpretation of the techniques of JR Cozens was to become Cox’s unmistakable style. He abandoned the sombre colour of the earlier manner and adopted a fresh, naturalistic palette that set a standard of informal realism matched by none of his contemporaries except Constable. Artists such as Cox explored the physical qualities of air and sky with unprecedented insight. [Gallery label, September 2004]


Hall, William. A Biography of David Cox. London, 1881.

Roe, F.Gordon. Cox the Master: the Life and Art of David Cox 1783-1859. Leigh-on-Sea, 1946.

Solly, N. Neal. Memoir of the Life of David Cox. London 1873; facsimile edition, London 1973..

Last modified 6 May 2017