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Works (?) Thomas Girtin

A Country Lane through Trees

1795 - 1796

Primary Image: TG0378: (?) Thomas Girtin (1775–1802), A Country Lane through Trees, 1795–96, graphite and watercolour on laid paper (card), 7.9 × 12.4 cm, 3 ⅛ × 4 ⅞ in. Private Collection.

Photo courtesy of Abbott and Holder, London (All Rights Reserved)

Description
Creator(s)
(?) Thomas Girtin (1775-1802)
Title
  • A Country Lane through Trees
Date
1795 - 1796
Medium and Support
Graphite and watercolour on laid paper (card)
Dimensions
7.9 × 12.4 cm, 3 ⅛ × 4 ⅞ in
Inscription

‘Old Allingham sitted at his cottage door Fetcham’ on the back, by (?) Dr Thomas Monro; ‘Do making a walk’ on the back, by (?) Dr Thomas Monro

Object Type
Monro School Copy
Subject Terms
Unidentified Landscape

Collection
Catalogue Number
TG0378
Description Source(s)
Photograph

Provenance

Squire Gallery, London, 1955 (Mercie Milling, later Mercie Spooner); Michael Ingram (1917–2005); Abbott and Holder, London, as ‘Monro School. Anon.’

About this Work

Thomas Girtin (1874–1960) included a photograph of this work amongst the records he kept of watercolours that appeared on the art market after the publication of his catalogue of Girtin’s career in 1954 (Girtin and Loshak, 1954), adding a note to the effect that it was ‘Done from nature’ (Girtin Archive, 40A). He was convinced that it had been made by Girtin in the company of Dr Thomas Monro (1759–1833), who, he suggested, may have been responsible for the sketch on the back of the drawing of an old man sitting at a cottage door and another of the same man walking, both of which are inscribed by Monro. According to the artist’s descendant, the pencil drawing had been coloured in green and blue, which had ‘faded uniformly yellow’. However, although the work is clearly on a card similar to those found in the group of compositions from Monro’s collection now in the Turner Bequest and elsewhere, the attribution to Girtin was not accepted when the drawing appeared on the art market in 2005, and the idea that it is an on-the-spot colour sketch that has faded is also no longer tenable. So many artists – amateur and professional, young and mature – worked at Monro’s house and made copies from the sketches in his possession that, whilst it is easy enough to refute the attribution of this work to Girtin, naming a convincing alternative author is altogether more difficult.

by Greg Smith

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