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 and Joseph Mallord William Turner after John Robert Cozens

A Tree-Lined Valley, near Innsbruck

1794 - 1797

Primary Image: TG0701: Thomas Girtin (1775–1802) and Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851), after John Robert Cozens (1752–97), A Tree-Lined Valley, near Innsbruck, 1794–97, graphite and watercolour on paper, 16 × 23.3 cm, 6 ¼ × 9 ⅛ in. Private Collection.

Photo courtesy of Paul Mellon Centre Photographic Archive, PA-F05204-0049 (CC BY-NC 4.0)

Artist's source: John Robert Cozens (1752–97), A Tree-Lined Valley, near Innsbruck, graphite on laid paper, 16.5 × 23.5 cm, 6 ½ × 9 ¼ in. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection (B1977.14.4571).

Photo courtesy of Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection (Public Domain)

Thomas Girtin (1775-1802) and Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) after John Robert Cozens (1752-1797)
  • A Tree-Lined Valley, near Innsbruck
1794 - 1797
Medium and Support
Graphite and watercolour on paper
16 × 23.3 cm, 6 ¼ × 9 ⅛ in
Object Type
Collaborations; Monro School Copy
Subject Terms
Austrian View; Hills and Mountains

Catalogue Number
Description Source(s)
Sale Catalogue


Andrew Wyld, London, 1974

Exhibition History

London, 1974c, no.B24 as by ’J.M.W. Turner after J.R. Cozens’; Andrew Wyld, 1979, no.17 as by Joseph Mallord William Turner


Bell and Girtin, 1935, p.51

About this Work

This view of a tree-lined valley, south of Innsbruck, displays many of the signs that mark the unique collaboration between Girtin and his contemporary Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851) at the home of Dr Thomas Monro (1759–1833). Here they were employed across three winters, probably between 1794 and 1797, to make ‘finished drawings’ from the ‘Copies’ of the ‘outlines or unfinished drawings of Cozens’ and other artists, amateur and professional, either from Monro’s collection or lent for the purpose. As the two young artists later recalled, Girtin generally ‘drew in outlines and Turner washed in the effects’. ‘They went at 6 and staid till Ten’, which may account for the generally monochrome appearance of the works, and, as the diarist Joseph Farington (1747–1821) reported, Turner received ‘3s. 6d each night’, though ‘Girtin did not say what He had’ (Farington, Diary, 12 November 1798).1

The view is based on a simple outline drawing that is mounted in an album now at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (see the source image above). This was almost certainly traced by Cozens himself from an on-the-spot sketch, inscribed ‘near Inspruck – June 6’ (Bell and Girtin, 1935, no.199), that he made on a second visit to Italy in 1782, when the artist accompanied his patron William Beckford (1760–1844) through northern Italy to Naples. The sketch is the sixth image in the first of seven sketchbooks that survive from the trip (The Whitworth, Manchester (D.1975.4.6)), and it was presumably traced by Cozens because the books were retained by Beckford. Monro’s posthumous sale, in 1833, contained only twenty or so sketches by Cozens, so the patron must have borrowed the majority of the ‘outlines or unfinished drawings’ copied by Girtin and Turner. In this case, the source of the watercolour was presumably purchased at the sale of ‘Mr COZENS’ in July 1794 by Sir George Beaumont (1753–1827).2 As Kim Sloan has noted, Beaumont mounted ‘215 “tracings” or drawings on oiled paper’ in an album that he presumably lent to Monro, and it was from this collection that the two young artists produced more than fifty watercolours (Sloan and Joyner, 1993, pp.89–91). Beckford and his party crossed into Italy via the Brenner Pass and the first sixteen sketches produced by Cozens show scenes in the Tyrol region, part of western Austria and northern Italy. At least six of them provided the models for Monro School drawings, including Entering the Tyrol: Unidentified Buildings amongst Wooded Hills (TG0697).

The majority of the Alpine scenes sold at Monro’s posthumous sale were catalogued as being the work of just Turner, and this generally remained the case until the publication of Andrew Wilton’s pioneering article in 1984, since when the joint attribution of the Monro School works to Turner and Girtin has increasingly become the norm (Wilton, 1984a, pp.8–23). This work was last seen in public at the Turner bicentenary exhibition in 1974, when it was listed as by Turner alone. Sadly, it is known only from a black and white photograph and it is not possible to comment on that attribution other than to say that there is no reason to suspect that the work departs from the division of labour that the two artists themselves described to Farington in 1798.

A copy of this drawing is to be found in a collection of watercolours painted from Monro School collaborations known as ‘The LeGeyt Volume’ after a later owner May Le Geyt (d.1942) who was a descendent of Dr Thomas Monro (Lacy Scott & Knight, 11 March 2017, lot 1464 (p.21)). One of the drawings is inscribed ‘J. Monro’, presumably John Monro (1801-80) the fourth son of the doctor and he may have been the author of all of the sheets in the book. The copy is dated 'July 1837' suggesting that as was sometimes the case it was painted from material retained by the Monro family after the 1833 sale.

1794 - 1797

Entering the Tyrol: Unidentified Buildings amongst Wooded Hills


by Greg Smith

Place depicted


  1. 1 The full diary entry, giving crucial details of the artists’ work at Monro’s house, is transcribed in the Documents section of the Archive (1798 – Item 2).
  2. 2 A full record of the sale is available in the Documents section of the Archive (1794 – Item 1)

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.