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Works Thomas Girtin after (?) Edward Dayes

Barnard Castle and Bridge, from the River Tees

1794 - 1795

Primary Image: TG0232: Thomas Girtin (1775–1802), after (?) Edward Dayes (1763–1804), Barnard Castle and Bridge, from the River Tees, 1794–95, graphite on wove paper, 15.4 × 23.2 cm, 6 ⅛ × 9 ⅛ in. Tate, Turner Bequest CCCLXXVII 19 (D36590).

Photo courtesy of Tate (All Rights Reserved)

Thomas Girtin (1775-1802) after (?) Edward Dayes (1763-1804)
  • Barnard Castle and Bridge, from the River Tees
1794 - 1795
Medium and Support
Graphite on wove paper
15.4 × 23.2 cm, 6 ⅛ × 9 ⅛ in
Object Type
Outline Drawing; Work from a Known Source: Contemporary British
Subject Terms
Castle Ruins; Durham and Northumberland

Catalogue Number
Description Source(s)
Viewed in January 2018


Dr Thomas Monro (1759–1833); his posthumous sale, Christie's, 26–28 June and 1–2 July 1833 (day and lot number not known); bought by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851); accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest, 1856


Finberg, 1909, vol.2, p.1239 as 'Barnard Castle, Yorkshire' by Thomas Girtin; Finberg, 1913, pl.75b; Tate Online as 'Barnard Castle, Yorkshire, from the West' (Accessed 13/09/2022)

About this Work

This view of Barnard Castle from the river Tees is part of a group of about forty outline drawings by Girtin that came from the collection of Dr Thomas Monro (1759–1833) and are now in the Turner Bequest at Tate Britain. The majority of the drawings were made after sketches by Girtin’s first significant patron, the antiquarian and amateur artist James Moore (1762–99). However, Moore does not seem to have visited Barnard Castle, and, assuming that this sketch predates Girtin’s trip to the north east in 1796, attention has switched to other possible sources for the composition. The obvious candidate is Girtin’s master, Edward Dayes (1763–1804), though his view of Barnard Castle from the river adopts a slightly different viewpoint, cutting off the houses to the right in consequence (see figure 1). The drawing is actually closer to a watercolour by Thomas Hearne (1744–1817) that was engraved and published as part of his Antiquities of Great-Britain (see figure 2) (Hearne, 1786–1807). The forms of the buildings are particularly close, but the vegetation is quite different and there are other details that do not match. Therefore, whilst it is still possible that Girtin copied Hearne’s composition, the fact that the engraving was not published until 1799 would suggest otherwise.

There is another possibility, however. Girtin in all likelihood visited Barnard Castle himself in 1796 on his trip to the north east and the Scottish Borders, and he subsequently produced two watercolours of a similar, though slightly more distant, view of the castle overlooking the river Tees (TG1068 and TG1069). Could it be, therefore, that this drawing, though it is roughly the same size as the other outlines from the Monro collection, was actually made on the spot in 1796? Given that there are at least two other drawings from the Monro collection that appear to have been made on the spot at a later date (TG0369a and TG1331), the possibility is certainly worth considering, especially as the touch in this drawing is more varied in strength compared to the even, if not mechanical, feel of the standard outline made for Monro (for example, in TG0328). Indeed, I would be persuaded by the argument were it not for the nagging thought that moving a few metres closer to make a second very close variation of a view would have been quite out of character for Girtin.

1796 - 1797

Barnard Castle, from the River Tees


(?) 1800

Barnard Castle, from the River Tees


1798 - 1799

The Market Square at Aylesbury


(?) 1798

Pont y Pair, Betws-y-Coed


1794 - 1795

The Refectory of Walsingham Priory


by Greg Smith

Place depicted

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