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Colson, Reverend John Morton, Jr.
God’s House Tower, Southampton
around 1790

God’s House Tower – a late13th-century gatehouse so named for the nearby God’s House Hospital and its 15th-century addition – lingers in the shadows of the right foreground, serving as a powerful repoussoir for a view onto the River Itchen. Very little is known about the draughtsman and etcher Reverend J. Morton Colson, Jr., who was appointed rector of Studland in 1786 and of Piddlehinton in 1809. His motivations for traveling the 50 kilometers from Dorchester to Southampton remain unknown, though his selection of God’s House Tower – one of the earliest fortifications to be erected to accommodate cannons – reveals his awareness of the place of this monument in Southampton’s history. A pleasant and recognizable coastline scene, it demonstrates the 18th-century penchant for sketching by amateurs.

 
Colson, Reverend John Morton, Jr.
Studland, England, 1762; Piddlehinton, England, 1837
God’s House Tower, Southampton
around 1790
pen, ink and wash on paper
14.0 x 45.7 cm
Gift of Gerald and Helen Finley, 2015
58-018.05

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