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Works Thomas Girtin

A Distant View of Chirk Castle

(?) 1798

Print after: Thales Fielding (1793–1837), after Peter De Wint (1784–1849) 'from a Sketch by T. Girtin', engraving, hand-coloured, 'Chirk Castle' for Thomas Compton, The Northern Cambrian Mountains, pl.35, 2nd edn., 1820. National Art Library, Victoria and Albert Museum, London (51.C.2).

Photo courtesy of Victoria & Albert Museum, London (All Rights Reserved)

Thomas Girtin (1775-1802)
  • A Distant View of Chirk Castle
(?) 1798
Subject Terms
Castle Ruins; North Wales

Catalogue Number
Description Source(s)
The original known only from the print

About this Work

This distant view by Girtin of Chirk Castle is known only from a hand-coloured engraving produced by Thales Fielding (1793–1837) in 1820, which notes that it was painted by Peter De Wint (1784–1849) ‘from a Sketch by T. Girtin’ (see the print after, above). The fact that the castle is relegated to the distance of a broad landscape, with the river Ceiriog in the foreground, suggests that Girtin made his sketch on the spot in 1798 on his tour to North Wales, rather than working from one of the antiquarian drawings that he copied prior to his own trip to the region. In fact, Chirk is close to the road along which Girtin returned from Wales, and we can be reasonably sure that the artist passed by from the fact that a sketch he made at Corwen, nearby to the west, is dated ‘16 Augt 1798’ (TG1347). Girtin’s sketch must have been made in something of a hurry, however, perhaps in a break on the return leg of his journey, as the publisher found it necessary to commission another artist to work it up into a suitable state from which it might be engraved. Thomas Compton (unknown dates) first published The Northern Cambrian Mountains; or, A Tour through North Wales, Describing the Scenery and General Character of that Romantic Country, with hand-coloured engravings after his own views, in 1817. For the second edition, in 1820, he added engravings taken from works by other artists, including Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851) and De Wint, and another view after a sketch by Girtin, showing Flint Castle (see print after TG1363) (Compton, 1820).


The River Dee, near Corwen


(?) 1798

Flint Castle


by Greg Smith

Place depicted

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