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Works (?) Thomas Girtin after (?) James Moore

Alloway Auld Kirk

1794 - 1795


(?) Thomas Girtin (1775-1802) after (?) James Moore (1762-1799)
  • Alloway Auld Kirk
1794 - 1795
Medium and Support
Watercolour on paper
20.3 × 29.2 cm, 8 × 11 ½ in
Object Type
Studio Watercolour; Work after an Amateur Artist
Subject Terms
Parish Church, Ruins; Scottish View

Catalogue Number
Description Source(s)
Girtin and Loshak, 1954, p.207


Edward Cohen (1817-86); then by bequest to his niece, Isabella Oswald (1838-1905); her posthumous sale, Robins & Hine, 30 March 1905, lot 367


Girtin and Loshak, 1954, p.207 as 'Untraced ... Alloway Church, Ayrshire'

About this Work

This watercolour has not been seen in public since it appeared at auction in 1905. Thomas Girtin (1874–1960) and David Loshak included the work in their catalogue of the artist’s watercolours, but no photograph of it has been traced and there is therefore no way of knowing whether their attribution to Girtin is correct (Girtin and Loshak, 1954, p.207). Girtin did not travel north of the Scottish Borders and, if the work is by him, it would have had to have been made after a drawing by another artist. Girtin’s earliest patron, the amateur artist and antiquarian James Moore (1762–99), may have passed near the village of Alloway, on the Ayr coast south of Glasgow, during his Scottish tour in the late summer and autumn of 1792. No sketch by him of the ruined church is known, however. Given that the work does not seem to have been owned by Moore at any time, we might need to look elsewhere for the source of the watercolour if it reappears.

Alloway Auld Kirk was built in 1516 but was in ruins by the time of Robert Burns (1759–96), who was born in the village and who used the graveyard as the setting for the witches’ dance in his poem Tam o’ Shanter (written in 1790).

by Greg Smith

Place depicted

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