A river running through a dense forest, the western sun slowly rises in the sky. The moon shines above the ocean, stars shining in the midnight sky reflected in the choppy ocean waves. A group of clouds drifting lazily over a grassy hillside, the mid-summer sun shining brightly in the sky. What do these three images have in common? They are all landscapes, images painted by the artist Alexander Cozens the 1800’s. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest landscape painters in history. He taught art at multiple schools, created several notable paintings, and introduced a new form of painting using the “blot” technique. Alexander Cozens was one of the best painters of his era, and of all time.
Alexander Cozens was born in 1717 to parents Richard and Mary Cozens. His father was a shipbuilder for the tsar of Russia, his mother a teacher from England. He married Juliet Pine in the mid-1800s and together they had two children, a daughter Juliet named after her mother and a son John Robert Cozens, who would grow up to be famous artist like his father.
Cozens spent his childhood in St. Petersburg, Russia until he was ten years of age. He then moved to London, England in 1727 for his education. It was there that he first began to show an interest in art, specifically drawing and painting. In 1746 he moved to Rome, Italy to study painting under Claude-Joseph Vernet, the famous French painter. Later in 1749 he went back to London, this time to teach art at Christ’s Hospital. After that he went on to teach at Eton College in Windsor, England. Some of his most famous pupils at Eton were Henry Angelo, who went on to become a fencer and autobiographer, and Sir George Beaumont, an art patron and painter. On April 23rd, 1786 Alexander Cozens died on Duke Street in London, England.
Alexander Cozens is known for his landscape paintings and use of watercolors, but what he is most celebrated for is his “blot” method of painting. Alexander...