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Works Edward Dayes

Harrow Common

1790 - 1791

Primary Image: TG0053: Edward Dayes (1763–1804), Harrow Common, 1790–91, graphite and watercolour on three pieces of wove paper, 15.1 × 39.2 cm, 6 × 15 ⅜ in. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection (B1975.3.1140).

Photo courtesy of Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection (Public Domain)

Edward Dayes (1763-1804)
  • Harrow Common
1790 - 1791
Medium and Support
Graphite and watercolour on three pieces of wove paper
15.1 × 39.2 cm, 6 × 15 ⅜ in

'Harrow Common -- / 4' on the back

Object Type
On-the-spot Colour Sketch
Subject Terms
London and Environs; Panoramic Format

Catalogue Number
Girtin & Loshak Number
8 as by 'Girtin'; '1791'
Description Source(s)
Viewed in 2001


Thomas Calvert Girtin (1801–74); then by descent to Thomas Girtin (1874–1960); given to Tom Girtin (1913–94), c.1938; bought by John Baskett on behalf of Paul Mellon (1907–99) 1970; presented to the Center, 1975

Exhibition History

London, 1962a, no.112 as by Thomas Girtin; New Haven, 1986a, no.125 as by Edward Dayes


YCBA Online as 'Attributed to Edward Dayes' (Accessed 02/09/2022)

About this Work

Gibside Park, from Goodshield Haugh

Thomas Girtin (1874–1960) and David Loshak suggested that this view of Harrow Common, north of London, was produced by Girtin during his apprenticeship to Edward Dayes (1763–1804) and that it was an ‘early out-of-door sketch’ (Girtin and Loshak, 1954, p.135). Their argument was based on the belief that the work was acquired by the artist’s son, Thomas Calvert Girtin (1801–74), ‘from the artist’s portfolio’ and that it descended through the family thereafter. Thomas Calvert Girtin did inherit a number of his father’s works, but he also bought others, some of which have proved not to be by Girtin (such as TG1271), and this, as Susan Morris has noted, is surely the case here (Morris, 1986, p.51). Harrow Common is indeed an on-the-spot colour sketch, but it is entirely consistent with the practice of Girtin’s master, Dayes, as a comparison with an example such as Gibside Park, from Goodshield Haugh shows (see figure 1). The erroneous attribution of this work is, however, highly instructive, suggesting that Girtin’s lifelong commitment to sketching in colour in the field was inspired by a little-known aspect of his master’s practice, albeit that he employed a broader palette than the muted blues and greys seen here.

1798 - 1803

Berry Pomeroy Castle


by Greg Smith

Place depicted

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