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Works James Moore and Thomas Girtin

An Unidentified Village with a Half-Timbered House

(?) 1795

Primary Image: TG0311: James Moore (1762–99) and Thomas Girtin (1775–1802), An Unidentified Village with a Half-Timbered House, (?) 1795, graphite on wove paper, 16.8 × 22.9 cm, 6 ⅝ × 9 in. Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford (WA1916.20.40).

Photo courtesy of Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford (All Rights Reserved)

James Moore (1762-1799) and Thomas Girtin (1775-1802)
  • An Unidentified Village with a Half-Timbered House
(?) 1795
Medium and Support
Graphite on wove paper
16.8 × 22.9 cm, 6 ⅝ × 9 in
Object Type
Collaborations; Outline Drawing
Subject Terms
Picturesque Vernacular; Unidentified Topographical View

Catalogue Number
Description Source(s)
Viewed in 2016


James Moore (1762–99); his widow, Mary Moore (née Howett) (d.1835); bequeathed to Anne Miller (1802–90); bequeathed to Edward Mansel Miller (1829–1912); bequeathed to Helen Louisa Miller (1842–1915); bought and presented anonymously to the Museum, 1916


Brown, 1982, p.474, no.1428 as 'Studies of a half-timbered House and other Buildings' by James Moore

About this Work

It has not been possible to identify the village depicted here, though the drawing was probably made by James Moore (1762–99) on his trip to Sussex and Kent in the late summer of 1795. The tour resulted in a series of architectural studies, many of which Girtin himself worked on and improved on his patron’s return. This drawing, together with about fifty other sketches by Moore, were collected into an album in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, after leaving the hands of his descendants after 1912. Girtin’s likely contribution to Moore’s drawing was noted by an early writer on Girtin, the curator at the Ashmolean Charles Bell, though this was discounted by a more recent cataloguer, David Brown (Brown, 1982, p.474). More surprisingly, other examples of Girtin’s improvements to Moore’s sketches entered and left the collection of the author of The Art of Thomas Girtin, the artist’s descendant Thomas Girtin (1874–1960), without being recognised. In this particular case, that is not so surprising as the artist’s involvement was limited, but in other examples the additional work is more substantial. The point, perhaps, is that earlier commentators did not always recognise Girtin’s work because they did not understand how the reinforcement of Moore’s outlines might have helped to facilitate Girtin’s regular practice of tracing his compositions from the outline drawings of other artists, amateur and professional.

by Greg Smith

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