Elizabeth Harvey-Lee Logo. Etchings and Prints for Sale Elizabeth Harvey-Lee, Print Dealer. Etchings and Prints for Sale Elizabeth Harvey-Lee | Print Dealer Elizabeth Harvey-Lee | Print Dealer
Click here to return to the Home page at any time
Further information about Elizabeth harvey-Lee, Print Dealer and Seller
The methods and history of printmaking
Order back-copies of Elizabeth's previous printed catalogues
View this month's selection of prints for sale
View Elizabeth's current on-line exhibition, many prints for sale, and explore the archives
Contact Elizabeth Harvey-Lee and enquire about prints for sale
Elizabeth Harvey-Lee
Elizabeth Harvey-Lee
You are hereHarvey-LeeHomeHarvey-LeeWeb ExhibitionsHarvey-LeeNorwich School IntroductionHarvey-LeeJohn Sell Cotman 08

John Sell Cotman
Norwich 1782 1842 London

Harlech Castle

The Norwich School of Artists. John Sell Cotman, Norwich 1782 – 1842 London. Harlech Castle. Original soft-ground etching, c.1810-17.

Harlech Castle
Popham 322; Pl.29 Liber Studiorum
189 x 123 mm
Original soft-ground etching, c.1810-17.
As published by Bohn 1838, with the title and plate number added.
On smooth wove.


Cotman was a great admirer of the etchings of Piranesi.

< Previous Norwich School Print

Additional Information about the Artist

Cotman was the most prolific etcher of the Norwich School and said he wanted his etching to be “something well worth having lived for”.

In 1898, aged only sixteen, Cotman first moved to London and also visited Wales and Yorkshire as a watercolour painter. He returned to Norwich in 1806, where he was elected Vice-President of the Norwich Society of Artists. In 1812 he settled for some years in Yarmouth, returning to Norwich in 1823. His final eight years, from 1834, were spent in London.

It was in the ambience of the Norwich Society of Artists that Cotman took up etching. His first series of etchings was published in 1811. They were mainly Yorkshire subjects based on earlier drawings.

Cotman advertised an invitation to subscribe to A Series of Etchings illustrative of the Architectural Antiquities of Norfolk in 1811, and the etchings were issued in parts from 1812 and published as an entity in 1818.

His subsequent etched series were increasingly antiquarian in character, culminating in Architectural Antiquities of Normandy, published 1822. In Normandy Cotman was also fascinated by the street life and French beggars and made several related figure drawings, one of which he etched and is included in the Liber Studiorum.

It is Cotman’s thirty-nine soft-grounds, small picturesque, Romantic landscape studies, which are amongst his most appreciated prints today. Though made between 1810 and 1817 they were not published until 1838, when Henry Bohn issued them as the Liber Studiorum: A series of Sketches and Studies.

Two of the etchings in the Liber Studiorum were copies after the old masters; one after Rembrandt, the other after Teniers. However for his architectural subjects he took inspiration from Piranesi.

A further interesting and varied group of eight etchings, different from his other etchings in including romantic historical genre subjects, also makes a slight reference to Rembrandt, in a study of a figure in an interior which Popham calls The Student. Unpublished at all in his lifetime, the plates were issued in Norwich in 1846 by Charles Muskett as Eight Original Etchings by the late John Sell Cotman, now first published.

The other prints by Cotman in this exhibition are: