Born in Birmingham, England, in 1783, David Cox was destined to become a major figure in the linked worlds of landscape painting and watercolor painting in the first half of the nineteenth century. Remarkably, no significant study of the artist has been undertaken in more than a century. This beautifully illustrated volume focuses much-needed attention on Cox, filling in the details of his biography and illuminating his contributions to British landscape painting. Cox's widely-known Sun, Wind, and Rain, painted in 1845, is emblematic of his concern with the representation of light and atmosphere and weather. He was unparalleled in his ability to capture the effects of wind and weather. Scott Wilcox's chapter in this book investigates Cox's artistic identity and his legacy. Other chapters address such topics as Birmingham's cultural milieu; myths about Cox's life; the papers he chose; his painting in oils; and the fakes, forgeries, and misattributions that have challenged attempts to identify his oeuvre with certainty.
Scott Wilcox is curator of prints and drawings at the Yale Center for British Art. His longstanding interest in the art of David Cox dates back to his doctoral dissertation on the artist in 1984. He is the author of British Watercolors: Drawings of the 18th and 19th Centuries from the Yale Center for British Art (1985) and Edward Lear and the Art of Travel (2000) and co-author of Victorian Landscape Watercolors (1992), The Line of Beauty: British Drawings and Watercolors of the Eighteenth Century (2001), and Papermaking and the Art of Watercolor in Eighteenth-Century Britain: Paul Sandby and the Whatman Paper Mill (2006).