John Lewis Roget (1828–1908), son of the originator of the famous thesaurus, was an important early historian of the British School of watercolours, publishing his History of the ‘Old Water-Colour Society’ in 1891 (Roget, 1891). As the work’s subtitle indicates, this was Proceeded by an Account of English Water-Colour Art and Artists in the 18th Century, which included a detailed account of Girtin’s life and career. Based on the extensive unpublished research of Joseph John Jenkins (1811–85), Roget’s picture of Girtin and his relationship with the artists and patrons of his time stood as the standard account until Thomas Girtin (1874–1960) and David Loshak’s The Art of Thomas Girtin was published in 1954 (Girtin and Loshak, 1954). Roget was a respectable watercolourist in his own right and not surprisingly he also collected, owning Girtin’s fine sketch A Distant View of Bolton Abbey (TG1681) and the watercolour Durham Cathedral and Castle, from the River Wear (TG1075).
1800 - 1801
A Distant View of Bolton Abbey
1796 - 1797
Durham Cathedral and Castle, from the River Wear