In this painting, Cox has created a contrast between the dark forest on the left and the light-filled openness of the sky and fields on the right. These two different environments are separated by a small path with three women walking along it. Cox often showed figures walking into his landscapes, they lead the viewers eye into the picture. David Cox came to oil painting late in his career, when he was already established as one of the leading watercolourists of his day. Determined to master this new medium at the age of fifty-six, he took lessons in 1839 from the young Bristol-born painter William James Müller, almost thirty years his junior. For the remainder of his career he worked confidently in both media, sometimes producing variations on the same theme in both oil and watercolour.


  • Title: The Skirts of the Forest
  • Date: 1855 - 1855
  • Physical Dimensions: w902 x h705 mm
  • Artist: David Cox
  • Provenance: Birmingham Museums Trust
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: Birmingham Museums Trust
  • Medium: Oil on canvas.

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