Dated Watercolours

  • Bolton Abbey, from the River Wharfe (TG1679)
  • Bolton Abbey, from the River Wharfe (TG1680)
  • Guisborough Priory: The Ruined East End (TG1698)
  • Guisborough Priory: The Ruined East End (TG1697)
  • Cottages at Hawes, from Gayle Beck (TG1696)
  • An Upland Landscape, Said to Show Etal Castle (TG1712)
  • Kirkby Malham (TG1690)
  • Kirkstall Village (TG1639)
  • York: The New Walk on the Banks of the River Ouse (TG1651)
  • A Distant View of Knaresborough, from the South East (TG1669)
  • Jedburgh Abbey, from Jed Water (TG1722)
  • Shipping on the River Medway (TG1754)
  • Plymouth (TG1753)
  • A River Scene with a Castle on a Cliff (TG1914)
  • A Wooded River in an Extensive Landscape (TG1913)
  • A Wooded Landscape with a Hermit (TG1915)
  • Part of the Tuileries Palace with the Louvre (Place du Carrousel) (TG1894)

Dated Sketch

  • An Inn Yard, Edgware Road, Paddington (TG1747)

17 February 1801

Edward Lascelles (1764–1814) pays Girtin thirty guineas ‘for several Drawings’ (Leeds City Archive Department, Harewood Papers, Calendar no.191, quoted in Hill, 1995, p.29).

April–July 1801

Royal Academy of Arts, London, The Exhibition of the Royal Academy, M,DCCCI: The Thirty-Third

Girtin’s address is given as ‘St. George’s Row, Hyde Park’. His one exhibit, an oil painting, is listed as:

The Great Room

  • 20 – ‘Bolton Bridge’ (TG1687)

27 April 1801

‘Royal Academy’, The Times, 27 April 1801, p.2 (repeated in ‘Royal Academy’, The Evening Mail, 24–27 April 1801, p.3; The Britannic Magazine, 27 April 1801, p.280)

TRESHAM, STUBBS, GIRTER, EDWARDS and BIGG, have essentially contributed to the present display of taste and judgement in the art.

2 May 1801

‘Royal Academy’, The London Courier, and Evening Gazette, 2 May 1801, p.3 (repeated in ‘Royal Academy’, The Sun, 2 May 1801, p.3; ‘Royal Academy’, The Star, 2 May 1801, p.3; ‘Royal Academy’, The Porcupine, 6 May 1801, p.4) (1801 – Item 1)

Referring to Girtin’s lost oil painting, Bolton Bridge (TG1687):

No.20. Bolton Bridge. – T. Girtin. There seems to be a sort of competition between this artist and Mr. Turner. They are both artists of uncommon and surprising merit, considering their time of life, for we understand, that they are both very young. In our opinion, however, Mr. Girtin seems to tread with a firm step in the path which leads to the higher excellencies of the art. He is not less bold in his portraits of nature, and he is more distinct than his ingenious rival. This landscape is one of the very best works which the present Exhibition contains. It is conceived in a style of impressive grandeur, very much in the manner of Wilson, and strongly indicates a genius of the same comprehensive character.

7 May 1801

‘Royal Exhibition: Number VI’, The Oracle and the Daily Advertiser, 7 May 1801, p.3

Referring to Girtin’s lost oil painting, Bolton Bridge (TG1687):

20 Bolton-Bridge. – T. Girtin. An interesting landscape, in which the bridge is duly conspicuous; but the knolls and lawn behind the bridge have too much of a shorn artificial appearance.

May 1801

A hand-coloured aquatint and etching by James Mérigot (active 1772–1816) of Eildon Hills (see print after TG1718) is published in John Stoddart’s Remarks on Local Scenery and Manners in Scotland during the Years 1799 and 1800 (also known as Picturesque Views in Scotland) (Stoddart, 1801). Stoddart notes that ‘By the favour of a friend, I am enabled to insert one of these scenes, from a drawing by Mr. Girtin, executed with all the spirit and effect, for which he is so remarkable' (vol.2, p.279).

Spring 1801

Kenneth Garlick and others, eds., The Diary of Joseph Farington (Farington, Diary, 24 May 1807)

Girtin possibly takes a trip to stay at Mulgrave Castle on the North Yorkshire coast, though this is now thought to have taken place towards the end of the summer of the previous year.

Joseph Farington (1747–1821) in a diary entry in 1807 said that Henry Phipps, 1st Earl of Mulgrave (1755–1831)

spoke with much regard of the memory of Girtin the Artist who was with Him a little time at Mulgrave Castle. – He thought him a good natured open dispositioned man. He then laboured under symptoms of an Asthma which not long afterwards killed him.

1 June 1801

‘Exhibition of the Royal Academy, 1801’, The Monthly Mirror, vol.12 (June 1801), p.376 (1801 – Item 2)

Referring to Girtin’s lost oil painting, Bolton Bridge (TG1687):

No. 20. Bolton Bridge, Yorkshire. Girtin. The ‘solemn twilight’ of this picture is most powerfully imposing. The scene is given to us, not such as it is beheld by a common spectator, but as the eye of a master contemplates it. While we stand impressed with the stern simplicity of the whole, we cannot help regretting the want of some farther particularization of objects in the foreground. Every thing is absorbed in hue.

23 June 1801

A sketch by Henry Edridge (1768–1821) of the artist Thomas Hearne (1744–1817) at work (see TG1923) is inscribed ‘at Bushey Mill 23 June 1801’. It is possible that Edridge’s study of Girtin sketching was made on the same occasion (TG1923).

27 June 1801

Letter from Edward Lascelles (1764–1814) to Girtin (Roget, 1891, vol.1, p.120; Fenwick and Smith, 1997, p.173)

I received your letter this morning and I am sorry to hear by it that you are under the necessity of going to another climate for the benefit of your Health –, but hope you will receive every Advantage from it that you can wish or expect. I hope you have made the alterations in the Drawings of this place which I wish’d you to do and that you have returned them to the house in Hanover Square. I think you said they were to be 20 guineas each. If you will call on Mr. Nelson, Merct., at No.1 Heylord’s Court, Crutched Friars. He will pay you on producing this letter eighty-four pounds. The Frame maker’s bill I will pay when I go to town.

1 July 1801

The sale of William Wells (1768–1847) of Redleaf (Exhibitions: Christie’s, 22 January 1857) included lot 249: ‘View of Jedborough, with the Abbey and surrounding country. Dated July 1, 1801 – in colours. A most interesting view, and a capital specimen of the Master’. It was bought by ‘Colnaghi’ for £13 5s. No other sign of this work has ever been found.

4 July 1801

Warkworth Hermitage (see print after TG1096) is published by Samuel William Reynolds (1773–1835). The publisher pays the engraver, ‘T. Powell’, only half of the agreed fee of fifty guineas.

29 August 1801

Kenneth Garlick and others, eds., The Diary of Joseph Farington (Farington, Diary, 29 August 1801)

At Harewood House, Joseph Farington (1747–1821) notes seeing works that may be by Girtin:

Views of Knaresborough

Plimpton rocks

Harewood Castle

Do

and another

14 October 1801

The Morning Chronicle, 14 October 1801, p.1 (1801 – Item 3)

EXHIBITION

TO be SOLD by PRIVATE CONTRACT, a large PICTURE, intended to form an Exhibition upon the Plan of the Panorama, representing an extensive VIEW of LONDON, taken from an elevation that exhibits the principal objects of beauty, and the surrounding country, in a striking and picturesque point of view, from Drawings painted by Mr. Thos. Girtin. It is presumed, from the general effect and manner in which the subject is treated, that it is an object of importance, and that it might be exhibited to considerable advantage on the Continent.

For further Particulars apply to Messrs. Greenwood and Co. at their Auction Room, Whitcomb-street, Leicester square.

14 October 1801

Letter from Samuel William Reynolds (1773–1835) to Sawrey Gilpin (1733–1807) (Bedfordshire Archives, WI/4031) (1801 – Item 4)

Dear Sir,

The kind solicitude you feel for me in consequence of the denoument of my affairs imposes one with the deepest sense of gratitude and should you by your indeavours relieve me from my present difficulties, be assured I will make every exertion in my power to prove myself not unworthy of your generous intervention in my favour, I shall now take the liberty of making the statement which you required, which is as follows.

Reynolds begins by listing his debts with the dates they are payable and itemising those that are due immediately. They come to £645 15s 4d. Against these Reynolds then lists his assets, amongst which are:

Drawings by Girtin

19 Large size – at     £7. 7 each                   £133.0.0 [£136.13]

10 smaller                4. 4.                            40.0.0 [£42.0]   

                                                                  178.10.0 at an

                                                                  average price

1 Painting Do                                                25. 0. 0

2 Pictures by Barrey                                      50. 0. 0 the price I gave

                                                                   for them

*2 plates from the above pictures                  140. 0. 0 low price

*Plate of Camel large size                              25. 0. 0

*Do Rabbits by Morland                                 25. 0. 0

*A Portrait                                                    10. 0. 0

*Do                                                              25. 0. 0

*Head Rembrandt                                          10. 0. 0

*Plates from drawings by Girtin                       60. 0. 0

*Stroke engravings from Do                            52. 0. 0 the price I gave

Picture by Morland                                          50. 0. 0 a very fine

                                                                     Picture

3 do – Wilson                                                 20. 0 .0 I believe I shall

                                                                     sell it shortly

Sundry Pictures, Plates, drawings &c                50. 0. 0

                                                                   £761. 0 0

* Plates of my own engraved on speculation

Plates which I am employed to engrave which will be complete

in 6 months and which I shall recieve               156. 0 .0

Money owed me                                              50. 0. 0

  1. 0. 0
  2. 761. 0. 0

                                                                     £977. 0. 0

The plates I am engraving in speculation will be completed in 6 months

Do                                       I am employed to engrave,         Do --

The money will be paid me on delivery of each Plate

the money owing me will be paid between this [illegible]

I have sett the drawings by Girtin at an average price. Mr. G. leaves England in a fortnight they will then I should think become much more Valuable –

If I am not necessitated to sell the plates I have in my own, but immediately on their completion, I have no doubt but that Girtin [?] will produce me much more than I have stated

                   I am

                   Dear Sir

                   Respectfully yours

  1. W. Reynolds

                   47 Poland St’

17 October 1801

Letter from Samuel William Reynolds (1773–1835) to Sawrey Gilpin (1733–1807) (Bedfordshire Archives (WI/4034))

Reynolds thanks Gilpin for his assistance:

Mr Whitbreads generosity will give me the opportunity of disposing of my Pictures & Drawings etc to the best advantage therefore have no doubt that they will raise [?]) more than the Sum stated.

Undated (Late 1801)

Letter from ‘W. Hogarth’ to Samuel Whitbread (1764–1815) (Bedfordshire Archives (W1/4037))

W. Hogarth, Whitbread’s attorney, writes that he ‘called on Borrett’. This may be Girtin’s father-in-law, Phineas Borrett (1756–1843). Hogarth writes:

W Reynolds has had more money than £400 so that very little of the 47 is due & required W Reynolds to make out his account. This W Reynolds informed me he could not do but seemed very certain he never reced so much as £400 & I have little doubt but Borrett has charged more than really advanced & probably taken receipts for more money than paid.

17 October 1801

Letter from Thomas Girtin to ‘Harrison’ (Josiah Robert Harrison (1773–1827)) (Roget, 1891, vol.1, pp.110–11)

To Mr. Harrison at Aldn Boydells. Friend Harrison, I am so very ill that I am advised to go into the country for a little while. I shall desire a person to call upon you if in case you should have occasion for anything who will attend to my business during my absence. If you will have the goodness to send what orders you may want to my mother Mrs Vaughan, Duke Street, Little Britain, she will take care to let the person know. I’m sorry to hear you have been ill. I hope your better. Yours respectfully,

T. GIRTIN. Drury Lane 56.

2 November 1801

The Royal Academy’s General Assembly votes on the candidates for Associate Membership. Girtin is one of thirty painters, three sculptors and five architects who vie for two places. Henry Bone (1755–1834) and Henry Thompson (1773–1843) are the successful candidates and Girtin gets no votes.

20 November 1801

Girtin embarks for France on the Minerva. His departure is recorded in The Morning Post and The Morning Herald (23 November 1801). His first address in Paris is 24 Rue Grenelle Saint-Honoré (now part of Rue J. J. Rousseau) on the right bank of the Seine, just east of the Palais Royal. Girtin is recorded as ‘Artiste anglais Thomas GESDIN’ (Archives Nationales, Paris, F 7 2231, p.89). He then moves to Rue de Malte Saint-Honoré as ‘Thomas GERTIN’, ‘Officier anglais’ (Archives Nationales, Paris, F 7 2231, p.89v). This was nearby and was a short street between the Place du Carrousel and the Rue Saint-Honoré. It was swept away when Napoleon built part of the west wing of the Louvre and opened up the Place du Carrousel.

10 December 1801

Girtin’s son, Thomas Calvert Girtin (1801–74), is born at the Islington home of the artist’s father-in-law, Phineas Borrett (1756–1843). He is baptised on 26 January 1802.

17 December 1801

John Samuel Hayward (1778–1822), Pocket Book (Victoria and Albert Museum, London (E.1628–1939))

Hayward notes, ‘Was at the Theatre Montansies with Thos Girtin’, and adds a comical description of the audience. This was the Théâtre Montansier, what one contemporary visitor to Paris called a ‘blackguard theatre at the corner of the Palais royale’. ‘There you see half a dozen farces or proverbs of a night, smartly playd, particularly by Brunet who is a very good actor in the loutish way. The house is filthy & full of common girls. Once is quite enough of it’ (Bury and Barry, 1953, p.34). Earlier in the Pocket Book, Hayward gives Girtin’s London address as ‘11 Scotts place Islington’ and the Paris address of Thomas Holcroft (1745–1809) as ‘88 Rue de Lille’.

1801

Bolton Abbey, from the River Wharfe

TG1679

1801

Bolton Abbey, from the River Wharfe

TG1680

1801

Guisborough Priory: The Ruined East End

TG1698

1801

Guisborough Priory: The Ruined East End

TG1697

1801

Cottages at Hawes, from Gayle Beck

TG1696

1801

An Upland Landscape, Said to Show Etal Castle

TG1712

1801

Kirkby Malham

TG1690

1801

Kirkstall Village

TG1639

1801

York: The New Walk on the Banks of the River Ouse

TG1651

1801

A Distant View of Knaresborough, from the South East

TG1669

1801

Jedburgh Abbey, from Jed Water

TG1722

1801

Shipping on the River Medway

TG1754

1801

Plymouth

TG1753

1801

A River Scene with a Castle on a Cliff

TG1914

1801

A Wooded River in an Extensive Landscape

TG1913

1801

A Wooded Landscape, with a Hermit

TG1915

1801

Part of the Tuileries Palace with the Louvre (Place du Carrousel)

TG1894

1801

An Inn Yard, Edgware Road, Paddington

TG1747

(?) 1801

Bolton Bridge

TG1687

(?) 1801

Bolton Bridge

TG1687

(?) 1801

Bolton Bridge

TG1687

1800

The Eildon Hills, from the River Tweed at Dryburgh

TG1718

(?) 1801

Bolton Bridge

TG1687

(?) 1801

Thomas Girtin Sketching

TG1923

(?) 1801

Thomas Girtin Sketching

TG1923

1798

Warkworth Hermitage

TG1096