David Cox was born in Deritend, Birmingham; the son of a blacksmith. He trained under Joseph Barber. He was a scene painter in Birmingham and later at Astley’s Theatre, London. He exhibited watercolours at the Royal Academy from 1805 and wrote several painting manuals. In 1808, he married and moved to Dulwich, where his son was born. He became drawing-master at the Military College, Farnham, before moving to Herefordshire to teach at a girl’s school. In 1826 he travelled to Belgium and Holland, later visiting northern France. He returned to London in 1827 and studied oil painting under Müller. He moved to Greenfield House, Birmingham, in 1841. From 1844 he regularly visited Betws-y-coed, Caernarvonshire. He died in Birmingham, aged 76.
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