Richard Ford (1796–1858) was the eldest son of Sir Richard Ford (1758–1806). In 1834 he bought Heavitree House, Devon, where he wrote his renowned Handbook for Travellers in Spain. Ford’s wife – Harriet Capel (1808–37) – was the illegitimate daughter of George Capel-Coningsby, 5th Earl of Essex (1757–1839), who presented him with Girtin's A Lake Scene with Two Herons in 1824 (TG1570) and later bequeathed him the presentation set of hand-coloured aquatints of Picturesque Views in Paris that John Girtin (1773–1821) had sold to the earl (see TG1862b figure 1 for a good example of the original washline mount). The set of twenty was split up following their sale from the Ford family collection in 1947, and this has added to confusion with a comparable group of hand-coloured etchings from the collection of Francis Russell, 7th Duke of Bedford (1788–1861), which Girtin made as a guide to the artists engaged to add the aquatint to the plates (Exhibitions: Sotheby’s, 5 March 1947, lot 454; Sotheby’s, 19 January 1951, lot 4).

1798 - 1800

A Lake Scene with Two Herons, Possibly in Cassiobury Park



The Tuileries Palace and the Pont Royal, Taken from the Quai d’Orsay: Colour Study for Plate One of ‘Picturesque Views in Paris’