The Influence of Anxiety: John Sell Cotman and J.M.W. Turner

Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 16 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3JA

The 42nd Kurt Pantzer Memorial Lecture by Timothy Wilcox

Throughout his career, from his first visits to Turner’s Gallery in 1804 to his dazzling reflections of the England and Wales series in the 1830s, Cotman mapped his own artistic course onto Turner’s own. The unequal dialogue tells us a little, perhaps, about Turner’s celebrity and a lot about Cotman’s struggles. According to Harold Bloom, influence causes anxiety; according to Cotman, anxiety causes influence.

Timothy Wilcox is a curator and writer with wide-ranging interests in the British watercolour tradition and beyond. The author of Cotman in Normandy (2012) and monographs on Francis Towne and Samuel Palmer, he is currently reconstructing J.R. Cozens’ commission for William Beckford.

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