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Works Thomas Girtin after (?) Edward Dayes

A Church Tower amongst Trees, with a Cart in the Foreground

1795 - 1796

Primary Image: TG0379: Thomas Girtin (1775–1802), after (?) Edward Dayes (1763–1804), A Church Tower amongst Trees, with a Cart in the Foreground, 1795–96, graphite and watercolour on laid paper, 7.6 × 12 cm, 3 × 4 ¾ in. British Museum, London (1939,1014.20).

Photo courtesy of The Trustees of the British Museum (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Thomas Girtin (1775-1802) after (?) Edward Dayes (1763-1804)
  • A Church Tower amongst Trees, with a Cart in the Foreground
1795 - 1796
Medium and Support
Graphite and watercolour on laid paper
7.6 × 12 cm, 3 × 4 ¾ in
Object Type
Colour Sketch: Studio Work; Copy from an Unknown Source
Subject Terms
Unidentified Topographical View

Catalogue Number
Description Source(s)
Viewed in 2001 and 2018


Richard Johnson; his sale, Sotheby’s, 13 June 1934, lot 11 as 'A set of six small water-colour Drawings' by Joseph Mallord William Turner; bought by 'Finberg', £3 10s; Cotswold Gallery, London; bought from them, 1939, as by Edward Dayes


Wilton, 1984a, p.23

About this Work

This view of an unidentified church tower is likely to have been amongst the sixty ‘Coloured Drawings on Cards’ sold from the collection of Dr Thomas Monro (1759–1833) (Exhibitions: Christie’s, 7 May 1808, lots 60 and 61; Christie’s, 26 June 1833, lots 80–83). The watercolours, all painted on card measuring roughly 3 × 4 ¾ in (7.6 × 12.1 cm), were executed around 1795–96 after a set of outline drawings that Girtin copied from the sketches of antiquarian subjects of his first significant patron, the amateur artist and antiquarian James Moore (1762–99), and landscapes by his master, Edward Dayes (1763–1804). The small watercolour was actually attributed to Dayes himself until Andrew Wilton showed that it, and three other coloured cards acquired by the British Museum in the 1930s (TG0235, TG0361 and TG0377), were all by Girtin (Wilton, 1984a, p.23). It is possible that Girtin sketched the view himself from nature, or perhaps even invented the subject, but the commission from Monro seems to have been directed towards the production of small sketch-like watercolours from humble outlines and monochromes in his collection, in which case Dayes is the likely ultimate source for this watercolour, albeit that Girtin had left his master’s studio several years before. Monro owned a large number of sketches by Dayes, including more than a hundred untitled ‘Coloured sketches … of buildings’, and it was presumably from one of these that Girtin copied the motif of the isolated church tower amidst a belt of trees in the form of an untraced outline (Exhibitions: Christie’s, 2 July 1833, lots 36–40).

1795 - 1796

The Refectory of Walsingham Priory


1795 - 1796

Legburthwaite Vale


1795 - 1796

A Road by a Pond, with a Church in the Distance


by Greg Smith

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