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Works Thomas Girtin after (?) James Moore

Dover Castle: The Constable's Tower

1792 - 1793

Print after: Thomas Higham (1796–1844), after Thomas Girtin (1775–1802), etching and engraving, 'Dover Castle', frontispiece for Thomas Walford, The Scientific Tourist Through England, Wales & Scotland, vol.1, London, 1818, 8 × 12.6 cm, 3 ⅛ × 5 in. Private Collection.

Photo courtesy of Greg Smith (All Rights Reserved)

Thomas Girtin (1775-1802) after (?) James Moore (1762-1799)
  • Dover Castle: The Constable's Tower
1792 - 1793
Subject Terms
Castle Ruins; Dover and Kent

Catalogue Number
Description Source(s)
The original known only from the print

About this Work

The Constable's Tower, Dover Castle

This view by Girtin of the Constable’s Tower at Dover Castle is known only from a later engraving used as the frontispiece to Thomas Walford’s The Scientific Tourist through England, Wales & Scotland (see the print after, above). All of the artist’s views of Dover, the castle and the port seem to have been made after other artist’s sketches and it is unlikely that Girtin ever visited the town. Although the exact prototype has not been traced, Girtin probably based his composition on a sketch by his master, Edward Dayes (1763–1804). A view of the Constable’s Tower by Dayes from a slightly different angle (see figure 1) is the sort of work that Girtin based many of his early compositions on, and if Girtin’s original watercolour were to resurface it would likely date from the period of the artist’s apprenticeship or soon after. Another distant view of Dover Castle by Girtin (TG0075) also seems to have been produced in Dayes’ studio after one of his compositions. A complicating factor has recently been added to the mix as the Dayes view was sold in 2012 as by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851), working from a sketch made in 1793 (Sotheby's, 25 January 2012, lot 131). However, I am not convinced by the attribution to Turner and I suspect that the view is by Dayes.

1791 - 1792

The Dover Mail, Dover Castle in the Distance


by Greg Smith

Place depicted

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