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Works Thomas Girtin

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

1795 - 1796

Primary Image: TG0377: Thomas Girtin (1775–1802), A Road by a Pond, with a Church in the Distance, 1795–96, graphite and watercolour on laid paper (card), 7.6 × 11.8 cm, 3 × 4 ⅝ in. British Museum, London (1939,1014.21).

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

Thomas Girtin (1775-1802)
  • A Road by a Pond, with a Church in the Distance
1795 - 1796
Medium and Support
Graphite and watercolour on laid paper (card)
7.6 × 11.8 cm, 3 × 4 ⅝ in
Object Type
Monro School Copy
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

About this Work

This view of an unidentified village 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 Girtin copied from the sketches of antiquarian subjects of his first significant patron, the amateur artist James Moore (1762–99), and landscapes by his master, Edward Dayes (1763–1804). This small watercolour was actually attributed to Dayes himself until it was correctly identified by Andrew Wilton, who also related it to its source in an outline drawing in the Turner Bequest (TG0376) (Wilton, 1984a, p.23). It is just possible that Girtin made the outline himself from nature, or perhaps even invented the subject, but the commission from Monro was directed towards the production of studio watercolours, albeit very sketchy in character, from some of the humbler drawings in his collection. Given that the patron is known to have owned several hundred of Dayes’ sketches, he is likely to have been the ultimate source for this watercolour, albeit that the copy was made several years after Girtin left his master’s studio. The lack of specific topographical information in the view means that, in the absence of any inscription, it is unlikely that we will be able to identify the location of the village, though it is possible that the same church tower is shown in another pencil drawing in the Turner Bequest (TG0380).

1794 - 1795

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


(?) 1795

An Unidentified Landscape, with a Church amongst Trees


by Greg Smith

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