Thatched cottage surrounded by trees




Thatched cottage surrounded by trees

Date of Production

(circa) 1860


graphite and watercolour on wove paper


Height: 24.5 cm
Width: 17.2 cm

Accession Number


Mode of Acquisition

Mary Spooner, gift, 1980


The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)


Not currently on display



Label Text

The purpose of this drawing, with its meticulous observations, is unclear. Most of Davis’s work consists of genre paintings rather than landscape and it seems unlikely that it was intended as a preparatory sketch. The notes, apparently written after he had left the scene, are almost obsessive in their detail and seem to suggest an artist intent on an exercise in drawing, either for pure enjoyment or to train his powers of observation.


Mrs Mary Spooner; Spooner Gift 1980 See Long Description for note re: provenance.

Exhibition History

British Watercolours from the Spooner Collection, Huntington Museum of Art, Los Angeles, 12/02/2005-15/05/2005; Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere, 18/07/2005-23/10/2005; Hermitage Rooms, Somerset House (Courtauld), London, 16/11/2005-12/02/2006

British Watercolours from the Spooner Collection, Huntington Museum and Art Gallery, Los Angeles, 12/02/2005-15/05/2005


The Spooner Collection of British Watercolours, Courtauld Institute Galleries; Huntington Library; Wordsworth Trust, 2005-06
cat. no. 82
Fig. p. p. 237


Watermark: Watermark: none.

Inscription: Recto: lower left, graphite, artist’s notes: "height of Elms equal h from top of chimney to lower edge of shed. / "Boy in this position, the same. / hedge curving round into shade - the dead parts + thin - purply / the tree by broken rail - trunk partially shewn, its thin foliage allowing / wall + garden ground to be seen thro: it of a greyer colour / the grass diversified by dead leaves dead standing grass of browner colour. + / brown + yellow broken stick / + earth showing thro: / the Elms might be finer and considrially higher - with decayed yellow parts. / at the time the pear tree was red + yellow as in drawing of it. most of the Elms / retained their strength of colour + had more or less of yellow parts"; lower left, graphite: "2 hours"; lower centre, black ink, signed, first 2 letters in monogram: "Edavis"; lower right, graphite: "xx / by Edward Davis (1833-67)". Verso: centre, graphite, framed in rectangle: "00". Backing paper (removed, cut down and adhered to modern mount), graphite: "HJLW".

Collector's mark: none.

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