John Robert Cozens

In the Tyrol, the Valley of the Eisack, near Brixen

1791
John Robert Cozens's second and last European tour was made between 1782 and 1783 in the company of William Beckford. Cozens painted this view of the northernmost entry point to Italy some ten years later. According to Beckford's journal, the group entered the Brenner Pass (at the border between Austria and Italy just below Innsbruck) on 4 June 1782 and descended into Verona on 10 June. This watercolour is based on a sketch that Cozens dated 7 June, in the middle of his Alpine crossing. The watercolour shows the river Isarco (Eisak) running through the valley of the same name, at some point between the Brenner Pass, where the river has its origins, and Bressanone (Brixen), where it meets the river Rienza. Beckford complained in his journal of the cold and stormy weather that greeted them at the Brenner Pass. Cozens had no such reaction. Here, he wraps both the grandeur of the Alps and the beauty of the valley of the Isarco in an atmosphere of tranquillity that unifies two geographic extremes.
Title
In the Tyrol, the Valley of the Eisack, near Brixen
Date
1791
Medium
Drawing
Materials
watercolour over graphite on wove paper, laid down to original pasteboard mount (several layers of laid and wove paper) with wash-line border
Dimensions
48.9 x 68.2 cm
Nationality
British
Credit line
Purchased 1976
Accession number
18741

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