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Works Thomas Girtin

All Saints' Church, Fulham, from the Seven Bells, Putney


Primary Image: TG0059: Thomas Girtin (1775–1802), All Saints' Church, Fulham, from the Seven Bells, Putney, 1792, graphite on paper, 15.2 × 21.8 cm, 6 × 8 ½ in. Private Collection.

Photo courtesy of Christie's (All Rights Reserved)

Thomas Girtin (1775-1802)
  • All Saints' Church, Fulham, from the Seven Bells, Putney
Medium and Support
Graphite on paper
15.2 × 21.8 cm, 6 × 8 ½ in

‘Fulham from Putney' lower left, by Thomas Girtin; 'T Girtin 1792’ lower right, by Thomas Girtin; ‘No. 15 (over ‘29’) / Fulham from the 7 Bells Putney Jun 7 July 29. 1792’ on the back, by Thomas Girtin

Object Type
Outline Drawing
Subject Terms
Gothic Architecture: Parish Church; London and Environs; River Scenery; The River Thames

Catalogue Number
Description Source(s)
Auction Catalogue


Christie’s, 17 November 1992, lot 61, unsold

About this Work

Unknown Artist, engraving, 'Fulham, Middlesex' for Daniel Lysons, <i>Environs of London: Vol.2, County of Middlesex</i>, 1807, 15 × 20 cm, 5 ⅞ × 7 ⅞ in. London Metropolitan Archives (p5445149).

This view south west across the river Thames to All Saints in Fulham is more extensively inscribed than any of Girtin’s early pencil sketches. From the inscription on the reverse we know that the drawing was begun on 7 June 1792, a Thursday, and completed on 29 July, a Sunday, and also that the view was taken from a public house, the Seven Bells, on the opposite Putney bank. The number ‘15’, also part of the inscription, is not so clear, however; it might mean that the drawing was part of a sequence of London views that included other churches, such as Christ Church, Southwark (TG0064), which is also numbered on the back. The view across the river from Putney is not especially picturesque and the point of interest was presumably the fine fifteenth-century tower. It is possible, therefore, that the sketch was produced in preparation for a commission from one of the many publishers who serviced the market for prints of the city’s architectural highlights. An engraving of the same view (see figure 1), with minor variations, was published in 1807 as a continuation of Daniel Lysons’ The Environs of London, and it is possible that an untraced Girtin watercolour based on this sketch was the source for the engraving. The tower is still intact, though the wooden spire was removed in 1845 and the body of the church was rebuilt in 1880–81.

The fact that Girtin began his drawing during the middle of the week confirms the supposition that his apprenticeship to Edward Dayes (1763–1804) had been terminated by the summer of 1792, and perhaps significantly earlier. The young artist would have then been free to travel upriver to Putney and about London, though expensive trips further afield would have to wait until much later. The precise date of the drawing also allows us to chart the progress of the young artist’s draughtsmanship in the nine months since he produced the dated drawing St Mary’s Church, Battersea (TG0016). Even though the relationship between the church and the surrounding buildings is still not entirely assured, Girtin has developed a more varied touch in the outlines and this helps to give the tower a greater presence and solidity than the corresponding spire in the Battersea view.

(?) 1792

Christ Church, Southwark



St Mary’s Church, Battersea


by Greg Smith

Place depicted

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