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Works Thomas Girtin after (?) James Moore

Glasgow Cathedral, from the South West

1794 - 1795

Primary Image: TG0329: Thomas Girtin (1775–1802), after (?) James Moore (1762–99), Glasgow Cathedral, from the South West, 1794–95, graphite and watercolour on wove paper, 28.9 × 34.9 cm, 11 ⅜ × 13 ¾ in. Bolton Museum and Art Gallery (1963.P.19).

Photo courtesy of Bolton Museum and Art Gallery, Bolton Council (All Rights Reserved)

Thomas Girtin (1775-1802) after (?) James Moore (1762-1799)
  • Glasgow Cathedral, from the South West
1794 - 1795
Medium and Support
Graphite and watercolour on wove paper
28.9 × 34.9 cm, 11 ⅜ × 13 ¾ in
Object Type
Studio Watercolour; Work after an Amateur Artist
Subject Terms
Gothic Architecture: Cathedral View; Scottish View

Catalogue Number
Girtin & Loshak Number
66 as 'Glasgow Cathedral'; '1793–4'
Description Source(s)


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 by Walker’s Galleries, London, £35; ... bought by the Museum, 1963

Exhibition History

Walker’s Galleries, 1948, no.54

About this Work

Glasgow Cathedral, from the South West

Like the smaller view of Glasgow Cathedral from the north east (TG0111), this watercolour was made after a drawing by the amateur artist and antiquarian James Moore (1762–99), and Girtin never actually visited the site himself. Girtin’s earliest patron undertook an extensive tour of Scotland in the late summer and early autumn of 1792 and he dated his drawings of the country’s premier cathedral 26 September. The drawing on which this watercolour is based has not been traced, however. Girtin is documented as having worked for Moore between October 1792 and February 1793 for a fee of six shillings a day, producing watercolours on paper generally measuring roughly 6 ½ × 8 ½ in (16.5 × 21.5 cm), including thirty of the Scottish scenes that Moore sketched in 1792. This watercolour is considerably bigger, features more complex figure groups and is generally more carefully finished than the works produced around 1792–93, suggesting both a later date and that it was intended to be framed for display on the wall of the patron’s home. It can be linked, therefore, to a group of more substantial views of Gothic cathedrals and churches that Girtin made for Moore around 1794–95, including Lichfield (TG1002), Peterborough (TG1014) and Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon (TG1023). All of these were produced by Girtin following his tour with Moore of the Midlands in the summer of 1794. However, this work, like Girtin’s 1794 Royal Academy exhibit Ely Cathedral, from the South East (TG0202), was made after a sketch by Moore and it may be that it likewise predates the artist’s first excursion away from his native city. Working from a secondary source, the young artist seems to have had some of the same problems with the building’s perspective that afflicted his view of Ely. In particular, the east end of the church disappears almost completely, as Girtin struggles to correct the errors that presumably blighted Moore’s drawing.

Edward Dayes (1763–1804), who as Girtin’s master no doubt introduced the young artist to Moore, produced a watercolour of the same view after the amateur’s sketch (see figure 1). This even larger watercolour from 1794 probably predates Girtin’s view, and, given that it does not appear to have been commissioned by Moore, it may have encouraged the patron to order a second view of the cathedral.

1792 - 1793

Glasgow Cathedral, from the North East



The West Front of Lichfield Cathedral


(?) 1794

The West Front of Peterborough Cathedral


1794 - 1795

The Ancient Charnel House, Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon


(?) 1794

Ely Cathedral, from the South East


by Greg Smith

Place depicted

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