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Works Thomas Girtin

Lincoln Cathedral

(?) 1794


Thomas Girtin (1775-1802)
  • Lincoln Cathedral
(?) 1794
Medium and Support
Graphite and watercolour on paper
11.4 × 18.4 cm, 4 ½ × 7 ¼ in
Part of
Subject Terms
Gothic Architecture: Cathedral View; Lincolnshire

Catalogue Number
Girtin & Loshak Number
85 as '1794'
Description Source(s)
Girtin and Loshak, 1954


J.R' - collector's mark; the Executors of the late Margaret Fife of Nunnington Hall (Girtin and Loshak, 1954)

Exhibition History

Scarborough, 1950, no.24

About this Work

This small sketch of Lincoln Cathedral has not been traced and no photograph is known to exist. However, it was included in Thomas Girtin (1874–1960) and David Loshak’s 1954 catalogue of Girtin’s work, where it was described as showing ‘The Cathedral left, clustered about by houses seen from the north east across a river; a gateway right’ (Girtin and Loshak, 1954, p.145). The description does not tally with any of Girtin’s finished watercolour views of the cathedral that were taken from the west (such as TG1008) or the north west (such as TG1005), from where the great west end with its twin towers is seen to good effect. The sketch for the latter composition is dated 1794 (TG1004), and there can be little doubt that this view too was taken in that year, when Girtin is recorded as having visited the city in the company of his earliest patron, James Moore (1762–99) (Howlett, 1805).1 Other dated drawings from 1794 include two monochrome sketches that were executed on paper and that have the same measurements as the sheet on which this view of Lincoln was drawn (TG0186 and TG0188). Without any photographic record of the drawing it is difficult to be sure, but it seems that this view of Lincoln came from a distinctive group of drawings, seven of which were sold together at auction in 1936 (Exhibitions: Christie’s, 27 March 1936, lot 1), and that all of the material came from the same sketchbook, which was split up at an early date. It appears, therefore, that in addition to making detailed outline drawings on his 1794 tour with Moore, Girtin executed monochrome studies in order to capture the fall of light and shadow, much as he was to do on his second sketching tour, to the north east, in 1796 (TG1105).


Lincoln Cathedral, from the West


1795 - 1796

Lincoln Cathedral: A Distant View from the North West



Lincoln Cathedral: A Distant View from the North West; Unidentified Landscape



A Cloud Study



Jedburgh Abbey, from the Riverbank


(?) 1796

Lindisfarne: An Interior View of the Ruins of the Priory Church


by Greg Smith

Place depicted


  1. 1 The text accompanying the engraving of ‘Lincoln Cathedral’ (see print after TG1008) notes that ‘James Moore … visited this Cathedral in the year 1794, accompanied by Mr. Girtin’.

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