Old society of painters of water-colours 1858
Though Mr. Cox's work is every year broader in handling, and therefore further, as mere work, from the completeness I would generally advocate, it becomes always more majestic or more interesting in conception. I have deeper sympathy with some of his this year's drawings than with any I ever yet saw from his hand. This is a rich and beautiful one; but the bits please me most which no one but he would have thought of painting, and which are made pictures of by a little thing in the right place, as 178 ["Going to Market"] is by the black and white dog. The bank above, and distance, are wonderful pieces of grey colour.
(1)[David Cox died in the year following this Exhibition, aged seventy-six. Ruskin's eulogy of him in the first edition of the first volume of Modern Painters (1843) had been as follows: "David Cox, whose pencil never falls but in dew simple―minded as a child, gentle, and loving all things that are pure and lowly, content to be quiet among the rustling leaves, and sparkling grass, and purple-cushioned heather, only to watch the soft white clouds melting with their own motion, and the dewy blue dropping through them like rain, so that he may but cast from him as pollution all that is proud, and artificial, and unquiet, and worldly, and possess his soul in humility and peace." Cox's handling became broader in his later period, as mentioned by Ruskin in these Notes, and he defended the "loose and blotted handling" as appropriate to his object (Modern Painters, vol. i., Vol. III. pp. 193-195). For a later and less favourable notice, see Lectures on Landscape, 80. See the references in Vol. III. p. 46 n.]