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Doorway to the refectory, Kirkham Priory, Yorkshire
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Doorway to the refectory, Kirkham Priory, Yorkshire


John Sell Cotman (1782 - 1842)

Height: 37.8 cm; Width: 26.6 cm;

Inscription, Kirkham Abbey / Yorkshire //
Inscription, H.G. Green. / Colnaghi / 23 x 18 / on Jcox. / sold to dwg. / sepia lines / JCox [illegible mark] //
Collector's mark
Inscription, 8.12.6
Inscription, Cotman
Inscription, 3
Inscription, 7036
Inscription, G.L. / 2 1/2 mount / heavy splay / Whatman //
Inscription, J. S. Cotman / 1804 //

Acquisition (source, method, date)
Spooner, William Wycliffe (Mr); bequest; 1967

About this work
This fine watercolour depicts the fourteenth-century gateway leading from a cloister to the Kirkham Refectory. A sunlit patch of masonry, cropped by dark shading, and a luminous sky perforate the gauzy texture of this landscape flooded with light. The Norman arch is observed from an oblique angle to exaggerate the gate’s monumentality, whilst a shadow cast on the doorway suggests an even greater structure looming nearby. Absent of human life, this intimate portrait of a ruin becomes a contemplation of light and shadow on stone. (Permanent collection label)

Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

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