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Works Thomas Girtin after (?) Edward Dayes

A Cottage on the Solent

(?) 1794

Primary Image: TG0100: Thomas Girtin (1775–1802), after (?) Edward Dayes (1763–1804), A Cottage on the Solent, (?) 1794, graphite and watercolour on wove paper, 22.3 × 31 cm, 8 ¾ × 12 ¼ in. Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery (1953P217).

Photo courtesy of Birmingham Museums Trust (All Rights Reserved)

Thomas Girtin (1775-1802) after (?) Edward Dayes (1763-1804)
  • A Cottage on the Solent
(?) 1794
Medium and Support
Graphite and watercolour on wove paper
22.3 × 31 cm, 8 ¾ × 12 ¼ in
Object Type
Studio Watercolour
Subject Terms
Hampshire View; Picturesque Vernacular; River Scenery

Catalogue Number
Girtin & Loshak Number
74 as '1794'
Description Source(s)
Viewed in 2001 and April 2024


Cotswold Gallery, London, 1926; bought by Charles Peter Allen (1861–1930), £60; his posthumous sale, Christie's, 5 December 1930, lot 29; bought by 'G. D. Thomson', £52 10s, for the Palser Gallery, London; James Leslie Wright (1862–1954); presented to the Museum, 1953

Exhibition History

Cotswold Gallery, 1926, no.27; Cotswold Gallery, 1926a, no.27, £60; Birmingham, 1938, no.74; Worcester, 1938, no.34; Birmingham, 1939, no.191; London, 1949, no.180


Rose, 1980, p.57 as 'Cottages on the Solent'

About this Work

A Cottage, near Southampton

Thomas Girtin (1874–1960) and David Loshak dated this work to 1794 and the period immediately after the termination of Girtin’s apprenticeship to Edward Dayes (1763–1804), and they suggested that it was made after a sketch by Dayes (Girtin and Loshak, 1954, p.143). Given the unremarkable nature of the architecture and the unspecific coastal location, unsurprisingly it has not been possible to verify the work’s traditional title and nor has any Dayes prototype for the composition been identified. Girtin certainly did not visit the Hampshire coast early in his career and the suggestion that the watercolour was made after the work of Dayes is given credence by its close connections with another of his works, titled A Cottage near Southampton (see figure 1), which shows a similar half-timbered building in a coastal setting. Some doubts have been expressed about the attribution of the drawing to Girtin, but, though the work has faded slightly (though not to the degree shown in the poor quality image above), there are a number of stylistic details to suggest that the young Girtin used his master’s sketches as the basis for views of picturesque vernacular buildings as well as for better-known topographical sites such as the cathedral towns of Durham (TG0012) and Rochester (TG0057). The varied and inventive touch in the pencil work on the roof is one such feature as are the dots and bold slashes of colour on the sea wall which have an attractive decorative quality. Certainly, the influence of Dayes remains strong and if the attribution to Girtin ultimately proves untenable the obvious other candidate would be Dayes himself, though I am not sure that there are any passages in A Cottage, near Southampton of a similar standard.


Durham Cathedral, from the River Wear


(?) 1791

Rochester Castle, from the River Medway


by Greg Smith

Place depicted

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