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Works Thomas Girtin after (?) James Moore

An Ancient House, Possibly in Sussex

1794 - 1795


Thomas Girtin (1775-1802) after (?) James Moore (1762-1799)
  • An Ancient House, Possibly in Sussex
1794 - 1795
Medium and Support
Graphite on paper
15.2 × 23.5 cm, 6 × 9 ¼ in
Object Type
Outline Drawing
Subject Terms
Picturesque Vernacular; Sussex View

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


Maas Gallery, London, 1962


Girtin and Loshak, 1954, p.154; Brown, 1982, p.328

About this Work

It has not been possible to locate an image of this pencil drawing of an old half-timbered house, which was last noted as being in a private collection in London. The pencil was once attributed to Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851). However, in his catalogue of the watercolours in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, David Brown stated that it ‘is certainly by Girtin’, and he identified it as the source for a watercolour in the museum’s collection (TG0248) (Brown, 1982, p.328). The author followed Thomas Girtin (1874–1960) and David Loshak’s suggestion that the drawing was made from an untraced sketch by Girtin’s first significant patron, the antiquarian and amateur artist James Moore (1762–99), and that it possibly shows a view in Shropshire. However, Brown did not recognise that the building depicted here is shown from a different angle in another Moore drawing in the same collection (TG0190a). The presence of that work in an album of drawings that is heavily weighted towards sketches made on Moore’s visits to Sussex and Kent in 1793 and 1795 suggests that the subject may in fact show one of the half-timbered domestic buildings of that region. The album contains many examples of where Girtin enhanced Moore’s sketches, though it is not possible to say whether that was the case here and that the drawing was therefore begun on the spot by the patron.

The suggestion that the drawing was made in preparation for the Ashmolean watercolour (TG0248) is also open to question. Girtin repeated the composition in a small colour sketch made on card for Dr Thomas Monro (1759–1833) (TG0294), and it appears that this pencil drawing, like the forty or so outlines in the Turner Bequest that also came from Monro’s collection, is related instead to a commission that resulted in as many as sixty sketch-like watercolours, all measuring roughly 3 × 4 ¾ in (7.6 × 12.1 cm). Although confirmation of the fact must wait, it seems that this drawing too was made at the home of Monro even though it was copied from a Moore original.

1793 - 1794

An Ancient House, Possibly in Sussex


(?) 1795

A Tudor House


1793 - 1794

An Ancient House, Possibly in Sussex


1795 - 1796

An Ancient House


by Greg Smith

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