Exclusively for Members

An exclusive talk for Members of the Ashmolean

Booking is essential.

This event is taking place in-person at the Headley Lecture Theatre, and online via Zoom.

Tea and cake will be served in the lecture theatre from 3pm.

With Timothy Wilcox, writer, curator, and lecturer

The British painter John Robert Cozens (1752–1797), known for his romantic watercolour landscapes, worked for two of the most eccentric and exacting patrons of the late 18th century, Richard Payne Knight and William Beckford.

The Ashmolean has marvellous examples of Cozens’ watercolours for both of these patrons, which we will explore along with famous scenes in the Roman Campagna painted for other wealthy clients.

Vesuvius and Somma from the Mole at Naples (1782) by John Robert Cozens (1752 - 1797)

Vesuvius and Somma from the Mole at Naples (1782) by John Robert Cozens (1752–1797)

Cozens’ career was cut tragically short by mental illness and he died in 1797 at the age of only 45. Hugely admired by Turner, Girtin and Constable, Cozens ushered in the Romantic movement in watercolour, but was the emphasis on emotion in his work achieved at the expense of his own sanity?

The talk will be recorded and shared with ticketholders following the event.

Timothy Wilcox has provided a suggested reading list, which can be downloaded here.

About Timothy Wilcox

Timothy Wilcox is a writer, curator and lecturer, and a regular contributor to the Ashmolean Museum public lecture programme. Timothy is the author of numerous books on English watercolour painters, including John Sell Cotman and Samuel Palmer. He contributed an introductory essay to the catalogue of the Ashmolean Museum’s Great British Drawings in 2015.


Tickets are £15 in person and £10 online. Tickets are available exclusively for Members of the Ashmolean Museum.


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