Driving Sheep in a Rocky Landscape

Driving Sheep in a Rocky Landscape by David Cox (1783–1859). Black chalk and watercolour, heightened with white and gum arabic on paper, 10 3/16 × 14 5/16 inches (25.9 × 36.3 cm). Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York No. 2016.118. Purchase, PECO Foundation Gift, 2016. Click on image to enlarge it.

From the Metropolitan Museum 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]

Last modified 6 May 2017