For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are the instructions how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.
Works Thomas Girtin

A Landscape with a Statue

1799 - 1800

Primary Image: TG1543: Thomas Girtin (1775–1802), A Landscape with a Statue, 1799–1800, graphite and watercolour on paper, 20.3 × 15.9 cm, 8 × 6 ¼ in. Private Collection.

Photo courtesy of Spink & Son Ltd. (All Rights Reserved)

Thomas Girtin (1775-1802)
  • A Landscape with a Statue
1799 - 1800
Medium and Support
Graphite and watercolour on paper
20.3 × 15.9 cm, 8 × 6 ¼ in
Object Type
Colour Sketch: Studio Work
Subject Terms
The Landscape Park; Unidentified Landscape

Catalogue Number
Description Source(s)
Auction Catalogue


Janet Margaret Holmes; her posthumous sale, Christie’s, 13 November 1953, lot 4 as 'A Landscape with a Statue'; bought by the Squire Gallery, London, £35 14s (with a work by William Turner of Oxford); John Trevor Roberts Roberts, 2nd Baron Clwyd (1900–87); bought by Spink & Son Ltd, London, 1958 ... Halls Auctioneers, Shrewsbury

About this Work

This sketch of parkland, with an antique sculpture of indeterminate gender looking incongruously across water, has been dated to around 1798, with the added suggestion that it was made by Girtin on a trip to Harewood House (recorded on the mount of a photograph in the Witt Library, Courtauld Institute of Art). The estate in Yorkshire of Girtin’s major patron Edward Lascelles (1764–1814) would indeed be the logical location for a parkland scene of around this date or later, but the topography shown is not distinctive enough to support any such identification, and, in any case, no such monumental sculpture appears to have graced the wilder parts of the grounds at Harewood. Indeed, it may even be that, although the artist employs washes in a rapid and summary manner that is readily associated with a sketch coloured and worked on the spot, we are actually looking at a studio drawing, and an imaginary scene at that, though any judgement is hampered by the fact that the work has not been seen in public since 1958 and is known only from the image seen here. However, it is, in any case, often very difficult to distinguish between sketches that Girtin coloured on the spot and others, on the same intimate scale, that were made in the studio to satisfy the demand from collectors for less formal examples of his output as a landscape artist. Features such as the rapidly washed foreground and the treatment of the foliage as broad, blocked-out areas of colour could equally be a sign of an artist seeking to capture a transient light effect or a means to persuade a potential client that they are not actually buying a studio fabrication. Similarities with a contemporary ‘sketch’, A Parkland Landscape with Cattle and Sheep (TG1575), suggest that the latter may be the case here, though confirmation of my suspicion that this is a studio work must await its reappearance.

1799 - 1800

A Parkland Landscape with Cattle and Sheep


by Greg Smith

Place depicted

Revisions & Feedback

The website will be updated from time to time and, when changes are made, a PDF of the previous version of each page will be archived here for consultation and citation.

Please help us to improve this catalogue

If you have information, a correction or any other suggestions to improve this catalogue, please contact us.