Cox was saddened and frustrated by contemporary public opinion of his work in both oil and watercolour at this time [1850s], which criticized the loose, sketchy brushwork and impressionist handling, seen in the Tate painting. He had developed this manner in order to convey more immediately his feeling for the atmosphere of a landscape rather than its topographical detail, but it was attributed, especially after his stroke in 1853, to diminishing powers of observation. . . . By the time of the International Exhibition in 1862, three years after Cox's death, at which a number of his late works were exhibited, there was a warmer critical reaction to his later work. F.T. Palgrave in the Fine Arts Catalogue compared his approach with that of Turner: “They belong peculiarly to the artist's later style, in which his often blurred and imperfectly realized execution is a severe lesson to the lover of the neat and the conventional. Yet this seemingly slight and hasty touch conceals a thoughtfulness and a delicacy in handling, which is more like Turner's than any other man's work.” [Quoted in Solly, p.250). —


Solly, N. Neal. Memoir of the Life of David Cox. London 1873; facsimile edition, London 1973..

Last modified 27 June 2020