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Works Thomas Girtin

Barns and a Pond, Said to Be near Bromley

1799 - 1800

Primary Image: TG1419: Thomas Girtin (1775–1802), Barns and a Pond, Said to Be near Bromley, 1799–1800, graphite and watercolour on laid paper, 19.6 × 24.7 cm, 7 ¾ × 9 ¾ in. Private Collection, Norfolk (1-E-23).

Photo courtesy of Matthew Hollow (All Rights Reserved)

Description
Creator(s)
Thomas Girtin (1775-1802)
Title
  • Barns and a Pond, Said to Be near Bromley
Date
1799 - 1800
Medium and Support
Graphite and watercolour on laid paper
Dimensions
19.6 × 24.7 cm, 7 ¾ × 9 ¾ in
Object Type
Studio Watercolour
Subject Terms
Dover and Kent; Picturesque Vernacular

Collection
Versions
Barns and a Pond, Said to Be near Bromley (TG1418)
Catalogue Number
TG1419
Girtin & Loshak Number
275i as 'View near Bromley'; '1798'
Description Source(s)
Viewed in 2001 and April 2022

Provenance

George Wyndham Girtin (1836–1912), by 1861 (lent to London, 1875); by a settlement to his sister, Ida Johanna Hog Rogge, née Girtin (1834–1925), January 1880; sold by her to J. Palser & Sons (stock no.15473); bought by Sir Hickman Bacon (1855–1945), 1 April 1901; then by descent

Exhibition History

London, 1875, no.73 as 'View near Bromley, Kent'; London, 1946, no.90; Boston, 1948, no.132

Bibliography

List of Tax-Exempt Heritage Assets as 'Attributed to Thomas Girtin'

About this Work

The attribution to Girtin of this badly faded view of barns and a pond has been questioned, but, on balance, the work appears to be an autograph variation of a composition known from a slightly larger and more extensive watercolour (TG1418). Fine passages such as the reflections in the water and the characteristic treatment of the oak tree, comparable with one seen in a view on the river Ure (TG1692), suggest that the work is indeed by Girtin, and perhaps a little later than the date of 1798 suggested by Thomas Girtin (1874–1960) and David Loshak (Girtin and Loshak, 1954, p.171). The less compressed version was presumably the work copied by Girtin’s pupil Amelia Long, Lady Farnborough (1772–1837) (see TG1418 figure 1), and the inscription on the back of the drawing, ‘Bromley Church Kent’, which is not in Girtin’s hand, seems to have established an improbable title for both compositions. Another watercolour from the Long collection, known for a long time as ‘View near Bromley’ (TG1338), is more probably a scene in North Wales, whilst this work has more in common with the rural subjects Girtin produced from sketches made in the flat countryside of Essex, and specifically with A Mill in Essex (TG1416), which is in the same private collection in Norfolk. The crucial point is not whether the view is in Kent or Essex, however, as the scene is essentially a picturesque view of vernacular buildings, and a topographically specific title is, I suggest, inappropriate in any case.

On a technical note, the paper historian Peter Bower has described the support used by Girtin as an off-white laid wrapping paper manufactured by an unknown English maker, and he has confirmed that it comes from the same source that the artist used for Kirkstall Abbey (TG1635), Cottages at Hawes (TG1694), A Distant View of Guisborough Priory (TG1699) and A Mill in Essex (TG1416), all of which can be dated to 1799–1800 (Bower, Report). The use of the same paper for this work strongly suggests, therefore, that doubts about its attribution were primarily prompted by its poor faded condition. The technical evidence is arguably more important in establishing the work’s status than the fact that it seems to have come from the collection of the artist’s son, since not all of the watercolours owned by Thomas Calvert Girtin (1801–74) came from his father’s studio, and he also purchased works of varying degrees of authenticity on the open market. What was almost certainly a copy of Girtin’s composition passed through the salesrooms in 1981, though it does not seem to have been photographed (Exhibitions: Christie’s, 6 May 1981, lot 59).

1799 - 1800

Barns and a Pond, Said to Be near Bromley

TG1418

1800 - 1801

An Ancient Oak, Said to Be on the River Ure

TG1692

1798 - 1799

An Unidentified Landscape, Possibly the Vale of Clwyd

TG1338

(?) 1799

A Mill in Essex

TG1416

1800

Kirkstall Abbey, from Kirkstall Hill

TG1635

1800 - 1801

Cottages at Hawes, from Gayle Beck

TG1694

1800 - 1801

A Distant View of Guisborough Priory; The Tithe Barn, Abbotsbury

TG1699

(?) 1799

A Mill in Essex

TG1416

by Greg Smith

Place depicted

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