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Works James Moore and Thomas Girtin

Henfield Church


Primary Image: TG0181: James Moore (1762–99) and Thomas Girtin (1775–1802), Henfield Church, 6 July 1793, graphite on wove paper, 16.7 × 22.5 cm, 6 ⅝ × 8 ⅞ in. Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford (WA1916.20.15).

Photo courtesy of Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford (All Rights Reserved)

James Moore (1762-1799) and Thomas Girtin (1775-1802)
  • Henfield Church
Medium and Support
Graphite on wove paper
16.7 × 22.5 cm, 6 ⅝ × 8 ⅞ in

'Henfield Church July 6th. 93' lower right, by James Moore

Object Type
Collaborations; Outline Drawing
Subject Terms
Gothic Architecture: Parish Church; Sussex View

Catalogue Number
Description Source(s)
Viewed in 2016


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 Thomas Girtin (1874–1960); presented to the Museum, 1916


Brown, 1982, p.470, no.1401 as 'Henfield Church July 6th 93' by James Moore

About this Work

This pencil drawing by Girtin’s first significant patron, the antiquarian and amateur artist James Moore (1762–99), was made on the second of three tours he undertook to the southern counties of Surrey and Sussex and is dated ‘July 6th 93’. It is contained in an album assembled from fifty-three drawings that were acquired by the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, from Moore’s descendants after 1912. They were catalogued by David Brown as being by Moore himself, but Brown added a note to one of the drawings, a view of St Clement’s Church, Hastings (TG0304), suggesting that Girtin may also have ‘taken a hand’ in the drawing (Brown, 1982, p.471). I think it is possible to go a step further and propose that, given up to half of the drawings in the album are significantly stronger than Moore’s generally unconvincing sketches (see source image TG0114), the professional artist had a ‘hand’ in many more of his patron’s outlines. In this case, such is the contrast in quality, particularly in the architectural details, that it is clear that the drawing has been corrected and enhanced by a superior draughtsman working over Moore’s sketch with a sharper and more richly toned piece of graphite. This sketch of St Peter’s Church from the east end is typical of the way in which Moore’s tentative outlines have been firmed up, his faulty perspective corrected and an exuberant level of decorative detail added. Other examples more obviously display the intervention of Girtin himself, but even though this lacks some of the refinement of his style, the careful articulation of the links between the different parts of the building suggests that the young professional was responsible for enhancing Moore’s drawing here as well. This was almost certainly done back in London as there is no evidence that Girtin accompanied his patron on any of his tours to Sussex.

The church of St Peter was extensively remodelled in the nineteenth century and this drawing has, as a result, become an important record of the building’s earlier appearance.

(?) 1795

St Clement’s Church, with Hastings in the Distance


1792 - 1793

The Albion Mills, Southwark, after the Fire


by Greg Smith

Place depicted

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