English Watercolors

Graham Reynolds, Author New Amsterdam Books $35 (160p) ISBN 978-0-941533-43-0
To compress the history of English watercolors into 160 pages might seem foolhardy, yet this jewel of a book does so with style. It's a story colored by tragedy, bold experiment and exotic travel. John Robert Cozens, whose misty scenes inspired J. M. W. Turner, went mad. Richard Bonington, painter of Venetian canals and French seascapes, died at the age of 25. Manic-depressive John Sell Cotman, totally neglected in his lifetime, wrested haunting poetry from a wooden gate or a lake. In this survey by a one-time curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, English watercolor emerges as an art form as substantial as oils. John Constable's Stonehenge , for instance, couldn't have been done in any other medium; the stone slabs almost dance against a violet, rainbow-streaked sky. Satirist Thomas Rowlandson, visionaries William Blake and Samuel Palmer, globe-trotter Edward Lear, and modernists Henry Moore and Wyndham Lewis are among the watercolorists whose work here expands our conception of the medium. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/1990
Release date: 04/01/1998
Open Ebook - 160 pages - 978-1-4617-0434-8
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