David Cox, RWS (British, 1783–1859)

Bruges – a group of women at the market

David Cox, RWS

Inscribed l.r.: Bruges, watercolour

7.6 x 11.4 cm; 3 x 4½ inches

Provenance: Spink & Son Ltd, London, K3/1890b, part of a group purchased from Appleby Brothers, 2 August 1960.

This spontaneous, on-the-spot sketch was presumably done when Cox visited Bruges in 1826. His first trip to the Continent was organised by his brother-in-law Mr Gardener, an agent for the sale of government ordnance maps who had premises at 163 Regent Street, London. Gardener persuaded Cox and his son David Cox Jr to accompany him on a business trip to Brussels. The party travelled from Dover to Calais and then, travelling by diligence, on to Dunkerque, Bruges and Brussels. Cox evidently liked the caps worn by the market women in Belgium as he sketched them again in Brussels.1 1.

See N. Neil Solly, Memoir of the Life of David Cox, 1873, reprinted 1973, p. 49.