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Works Thomas Girtin after (?) James Moore

An Ancient House

1795 - 1796

Primary Image: TG0294: Thomas Girtin (1775–1802), after (?) James Moore (1762–99), An Ancient House, 1795–96, graphite and watercolour on laid paper (card), 7.5 × 12 cm, 3 × 4 ¾ in. Private Collection.

Photo courtesy of Christie's (All Rights Reserved)

Thomas Girtin (1775-1802) after (?) James Moore (1762-1799)
  • An Ancient House
1795 - 1796
Medium and Support
Graphite and watercolour on laid paper (card)
7.5 × 12 cm, 3 × 4 ¾ in
Object Type
Colour Sketch: Studio Work
Subject Terms
Picturesque Vernacular

An Ancient House, Possibly in Sussex (TG0080)
An Ancient House, Possibly in Sussex (TG0248)
Catalogue Number
Description Source(s)
Auction Catalogue


Anthony Reed, London; Sotheby’s, 21 November 1985, lot 95, £1650; Christie’s, 8 June 1999, lot 31 as 'A Stone and Timber House, Possibly in Shropshire', £2,300

About this Work

This view of a half-timbered house 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 that Girtin copied from sketches of antiquarian subjects made by his first significant patron, the amateur artist James Moore (1762–99), or landscapes by his master, Edward Dayes (1763–1804). Most of the outline drawings are now in the Turner Bequest at Tate Britain, though the copy of an untraced composition by Moore on which this example is based is in an untraced private collection (TG0190). The building has not been identified, but the same vernacular structure appears in another drawing that is contained in an album of sketches by Moore in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (TG0190a). Many of these were made on the patron’s visits to Sussex in 1793 and 1795, when he sketched a number of more modest domestic buildings in addition to the churches and castles that were the mainstay of antiquarians like Moore. Indeed, the half-timbered house bears some resemblance to a Sussex Wealden hall house, and, though no precise match has been found, this is more plausible than the suggestion that it shows a view in Shropshire (Girtin and Loshak, 1954, p.143).

It is possible that Monro may have had a publication in mind when he commissioned Girtin to produce small-scale watercolours such as this, but their rapid, even careless execution and sketch-like appearance, suggesting that the work was made on the spot, indicate a very different kind of commodity. Indeed, the subjects that were chosen for this informal sketch-like treatment do not follow any obvious pattern, either by geography or building type, that might have made for a thematically unified publication. It may be that there is nothing that unites the group other than that Girtin’s outlines after the sketches of Moore and Dayes provided a ready resource from which sketch-like watercolours might be rapidly produced.

1794 - 1795

An Ancient House, Possibly in Sussex


(?) 1795

A Tudor House


by Greg Smith

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