St. Benet's Abbey

ca. 1830 (made)
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H
Place Of Origin

Pencil sketch of St. Benet's Abbey.

object details
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Pencil sketch
Brief Description
Pencil sketch by John Sell Cotman, a study for an oil painting entitled 'St. Benet's Abbey'. Great Britain, ca. 1830.
Physical Description
Pencil sketch of St. Benet's Abbey.
  • Height: 2.25in
  • Width: 4.25in
Credit line
From the collection of Sir Henry Theobald
Subject depicted
Place Depicted
Bibliographic References
  • Sydney Kitson discussing material similar to E.638-E.731-1925 states: "It seems that Cotman, like his great contemporary Turner, never destroyed any sketch, however slight, but kept all such memoranda as material for his finished work. During his second period of residence at Norwich (1823-1834) he and his family collected these sketches together and gummed them onto sheets of rough paper, four to twenty on a sheet according to size. The words 'in use', in Cotman's writing, are inscribed on the top of several of these sheets. Many of the sketches are torn from his earlier sketchbooks, and some are dated: others are on the back of any piece of paper come to hand- a clergyman's visiting card, a request for a payment from a tradesman, or bits of trial pulls from his own etchings. Unfortunately, Cotman's workshop was not, - as was Turner's - kept together and bequeathed to the nation, but was dispersed after his death. These sketches probably passed to his son Miles Edmund Cotman, who died in 1858. They were then put up in lots, seventeen or eighteen sheets to a lot, and sold at auction in Norwich. Recently I have been able to study three such lots, representing about 500 sketches; while about a hundred more, gummed on similar sheets, were acquired two or three years ago by the Victoria & Albert Museum". See 'John Sell Cotman' by Sydney D. Kitson, in the 7th Annual volume of Old Water-Colour's Society Club, 1929-1930, p.1.
  • Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1925, London: Board of Education, 1926.
Accession Number

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record createdJune 30, 2009
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