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

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.

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