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Works (?) James Moore and Thomas Girtin

Pegwell Bay, near Ramsgate

(?) 1795

Primary Image: TG0217: (?) James Moore (1762–99) and Thomas Girtin (1775–1802), Pegwell Bay, near Ramsgate, (?) 1795, graphite and watercolour on wove paper, 15.7 × 26.7 cm, 6 ⅛ × 10 ½ in. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection (B1975.3.1165).

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

(?) James Moore (1762-1799) and Thomas Girtin (1775-1802)
  • Pegwell Bay, near Ramsgate
(?) 1795
Medium and Support
Graphite and watercolour on wove paper
15.7 × 26.7 cm, 6 ⅛ × 10 ½ in
Object Type
Collaborations; Colour Sketch: Studio Work
Subject Terms
Coasts and Shipping; Dover and Kent

Pegwell Bay, near Ramsgate (TG0372)
Catalogue Number
Girtin & Loshak Number
102 as 'Near Ramsgate'; 'Probably an original Girtin design'; '1795'
Description Source(s)
Viewed in 2001


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), 1912, £8; 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, 1912, no.49; Cambridge, 1920, no.16; New Haven, 1986a, no.29


YCBA Online as 'Near Ramsgate, Kent' (Accessed 05/09/2022)

About this Work

Thomas Girtin (1874–1960) and David Loshak stated that this view of Pegwell Bay was ‘probably an original Girtin design’, with the implication that it was made by the artist in the company of his first significant patron, the antiquarian and amateur artist James Moore (1762–99), who visited Sussex and Kent in the early autumn of 1795 (Girtin and Loshak, 1954, p.147). The work certainly came from Moore’s collection, but, given that the majority of Girtin’s Sussex and Kent subjects can be shown to have been made after his patron’s sketches, the idea that Girtin accompanied him on his tour seems increasingly untenable. Certainly, there are no dated sketches by Girtin of southern counties subjects and neither are there any major studio works that can be shown to have been based on his own on-the-spot drawings, as is the case with his documented trip with Moore to the Midlands in 1794 and works such as The West Front of Lichfield Cathedral (TG1002).

One possibility is that this drawing too was made after a sketch that Moore made on one of a number of tours of the area, and that Girtin added monochrome washes to create a sketch-like effect for his patron. Girtin produced a number of other monochrome drawings for Moore such as The Ruined Gatehouse, Pevensey Castle (TG0266), and the patron appears to have been happy to add less finished works to his collection, especially where no antiquarian subject matter was involved. There is another possibility, however. Girtin was in the habit of working over his patron’s pencil sketches, generally improving them and firming up his tentative and often deficient outlines, and there are more than twenty examples of this practice in the collection of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, including The Gatehouse, Saltwood Castle (TG0224a). Although the evidence is not clear-cut, the pencil work in this drawing does seem to include the same combination of uncertain, faint lines and a stronger, firmer hand working over them that characterises the set of drawings in the Ashmolean. It is possibly the case, therefore, that Girtin worked over a sketch by his patron firstly in graphite and then in monochrome wash, and that this took place back in London on Moore’s return from Kent in 1795.

Girtin produced a small watercolour from Moore’s composition that is signed and dated 1796, and it is also inscribed on the back with the location of the view (TG0372). A hitherto unrecorded version of the composition appeared on the art market in 2004 and this has provided a more precise title than ‘Near Ramsgate’ for the monochrome work on which it was presumably based.


The West Front of Lichfield Cathedral


1793 - 1794

The Ruined Gatehouse, Pevensey Castle, from the East


(?) 1795

The Gatehouse, Saltwood Castle



Pegwell Bay, near Ramsgate


by Greg Smith

Place depicted

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