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Works Thomas Girtin

Horton in Ribblesdale

(?) 1800

Primary Image: TG1633: Thomas Girtin (1775–1802), Horton in Ribblesdale, (?) 1800, graphite on wove paper, 14.5 × 20.3 cm, 5 ¾ × 8 in. Tate, Turner Bequest CCCLXXVII, 21 (D36592).

Photo courtesy of Tate (All Rights Reserved)

Thomas Girtin (1775-1802)
  • Horton in Ribblesdale
(?) 1800
Medium and Support
Graphite on wove paper
14.5 × 20.3 cm, 5 ¾ × 8 in

‘Horton’ lower left, by Thomas Girtin

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

Catalogue Number
Girtin & Loshak Number
446 as 'Horton, Yorkshire'; '1801'
Description Source(s)
Viewed in 2017


Dr Thomas Monro (1759–1833); his posthumous sale, Christie's, 26–28 June and 1–2 July 1833 (day and lot number not known); bought by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851); accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest, 1856


Finberg, 1909, vol.2, p.1238 as '"Horton" Church'; Tate Online as 'Horton Church, Northumberland' (Accessed 18/09/2022)

About this Work

This rapidly executed sketch of Horton in Ribblesdale, in Yorkshire, features the church of St Oswald, with Horton Beck running across the foreground. Horton is about ten kilometres northwest of the Malhamdale village of Kirkby Malham, which Girtin depicted in a sketch that is so similar, in terms of both its composition and subject, as to be confusing (TG1606). It is just as well that the artist inscribed both drawings, or the watercolour derived from the Kirkby sketch might still bear the wrong title, as it has done for most of its history (TG1690). The Kirkby sketch was in all likelihood executed on an excursion the artist made in the summer of 1800 from his base at the palatial home of his patron Edward Lascelles (1764–1814) at Harewood, and it is to be found in the Whitworth Book of Drawings (TG1323, TG1324 and TG1600–1625) along with other views of the area (such as TG1608). Girtin sold a number of pencil sketches from the book, one of which was noted as costing a guinea (£1 1s), and it may be that this view of Horton too was amongst the works detached from the gathering of drawings, as it is on a piece of paper that conforms to the general size of the pages bound into the book.

The first owner of the drawing was none other than Dr Thomas Monro (1759–1833), who famously employed Girtin and his colleague Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851) to realise watercolour versions of the outlines and tracings of John Robert Cozens (1752–97), and the artists produced nearly four hundred works in the process. Monro also commissioned large-scale topographical watercolours from Girtin, and, as a keen amateur artist, he collected some of the mature artist’s pencil sketches. Three of Girtin’s drawings – The Market Square at Aylesbury (TG0369a), Caernarfon: A Street Scene with Plas Mawr (TG1313) and Pont y Pair, Betws-y-Coed (TG1331) – are now in the Turner Bequest at Tate Britain, having been bought by the artist at Monro’s posthumous sale in 1833. A word of caution, though, for although the sketches were no doubt acquired by Monro as examples of the artist’s sketching practice, at least one of them, the Aylesbury view, was copied from the original on-the-spot drawing, and something similar might account for the cursory and rather stiff nature of the pencil work seen in this, far from top-drawer, work.

(?) 1800

Kirkby Malham



Kirkby Malham


(?) 1800

A Farmhouse in Malhamdale, Known as ‘Kirkby Priory, near Malham’


1798 - 1799

The Market Square at Aylesbury


(?) 1798

Caernarfon: A Street Scene with Plas Mawr (The Great House)


(?) 1798

Pont y Pair, Betws-y-Coed


by Greg Smith

Place depicted

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