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Works Thomas Girtin after James Moore

Ludlow Castle: The Gatehouse

1792 - 1793

Primary Image: TG0098: Thomas Girtin (1775–1802), after James Moore (1762–99), Ludlow Castle: The Gatehouse, 1792–93, graphite and watercolour on paper, 15 × 10.5 cm, 5 ⅞ × 4 ⅛ in. Private Collection.

Photo courtesy of The Trustees of the British Museum (All Rights Reserved)

Artist's source: James Moore (1762–99), Ludlow Castle, 30 August 1791, graphite and watercolour on laid paper, 16.8 × 21 cm, 6 ⅝ × 8 ¼ in. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection (B1975.3.681).

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

Thomas Girtin (1775-1802) after James Moore (1762-1799)
  • Ludlow Castle: The Gatehouse
1792 - 1793
Medium and Support
Graphite and watercolour on paper
15 × 10.5 cm, 5 ⅞ × 4 ⅛ in

'Built by Roger de Montgomery soon after the Conq ...' on the back, by James Moore

Object Type
Studio Watercolour; Work after an Amateur Artist
Subject Terms
Castle Ruins; Shropshire View

Catalogue Number
Girtin & Loshak Number
70 as 'Ludlow Castle, Shropshire'; '1794'
Description Source(s)
Auction Catalogue


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); ... A. M. Mason; his sale, Sotheby’s, 22 November 1979, lot 167; bought by Spink & Son Ltd, London, £1,100

Exhibition History

Spink’s, London, 1980, no.4

About this Work

This view by Girtin of the gatehouse of Ludlow Castle in Shropshire was produced from a sketch made by the amateur artist and antiquarian James Moore (1762–99) (see source image above), and the artist did not visit the site himself. Girtin’s earliest patron toured the area in the summer of 1791 and the sketch that Girtin based his watercolour on is dated 30 August. Girtin is documented as having worked for Moore between October 1792 and February 1793 for a fee of six shillings a day, producing small watercolours on paper generally measuring roughly 6 ½ × 8 ½ in (16.5 × 21.5 cm) (Moore, Payments, 1792–93).1 In all Girtin produced as many as seventy watercolours from Moore’s similarly sized sketches of the nation’s ancient castles and monastic ruins. This view of the gatehouse of Ludlow Castle, seen from across the moat, is actually slightly smaller than the standard format adopted by Girtin, but that may be accounted for by the fact that Girtin adapted Moore’s drawing to fit a portrait format. Girtin’s decision to change the format of the drawing, which makes the gatehouse all the more imposing, may have been inspired by the need to distinguish his view from the watercolour that his master, Edward Dayes (1763–1804), had already made from Moore’s sketch (see figure 1). Dayes’ landscape view, which also follows Moore’s sketch carefully, is dated 1792 and must therefore predate Girtin’s watercolour. Moore’s typically close-up view of the castle gatehouse records its architectural features, but at the expense of the more expansive view that situates Ludlow at the centre of a picturesque landscape setting that was to excite the interest of later artists, including Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851).

A more general view of the castle at Ludlow (see figure 2) has been incorrectly associated with Girtin, but the otherwise competent watercolour does not fit into the pattern of his work for Moore and it is by an unknown artist working at a slightly later date.

by Greg Smith

Place depicted


  1. 1 The document detailing the payments made to the young Girtin by Moore is transcribed in full in the Documents section of the Archive (1792–93 – Item 1).

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