Collection of seven sketchbooks by John Robert Cozens

Sir Anthony Blunt described this fascinating series of around 200 drawings as 'a unique record of a unique event'.


Pencil & wash
18 x 24 cm
Art Fund grant:
£5,000 ( Total: £140,000)
Acquired in:
Leger Galleries

They were executed by Cozens during his journey to Italy of 1782-3, part of which was made in the company of the young William Beckford. The drawings, which vary considerably in subject, treatment and mood, provided source material for many of the finished watercolours of Italian views which Cozens later painted in England, no less than ninety-four of them for Beckford. Their importance for the study of Cozens, one of the greatest English masters of landscape, is therefore crucial, while the fact that they record, often in daily sequence, a particularly interesting example of the Grand Tour, only heightens their interest.


William Beckford; by descent, The Duke of Hamilton & Brandon; sold Sotheby's, 1973.

Venue details

The Whitworth The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester Greater Manchester M15 6ER 0161 275 7450

Entry details

Free to all

Daily, 10am - 5pm (Thu until 9pm)

Closed 24, 25, 26 Dec and 1 Jan