For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are the instructions how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.
Works Thomas Girtin and Joseph Mallord William Turner after John Robert Cozens

Second View on the Reichenbach Falls, near Meiringen, in the Valley of Oberhasli

1794 - 1797

Primary Image: TG0469: Thomas Girtin (1775–1802) and Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851) after John Robert Cozens (1752–97), Second View on the Reichenbach Falls, near Meiringen, in the Valley of Oberhasli, 1794–97, graphite and watercolour on wove paper, 24.1 × 37.8 cm, 9 ½ × 14 ⅞ in. Private Collection, Norfolk (I-A-26).

Photo courtesy of Matthew Hollow (All Rights Reserved)

Thomas Girtin (1775-1802) and Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) after John Robert Cozens (1752-1797)
  • Second View on the Reichenbach Falls, near Meiringen, in the Valley of Oberhasli
1794 - 1797
Medium and Support
Graphite and watercolour on wove paper
24.1 × 37.8 cm, 9 ½ × 14 ⅞ in

'No 9 View of the Rijnenbac in the Valley of Oberhasley’ on the back

Object Type
Collaborations; Monro School Copy
Subject Terms
Swiss View; Waterfall Scenery

Catalogue Number
Description Source(s)
Viewed in April 2022


Dr Thomas Monro (1759–1833); his posthumous sale, possibly Christie’s, 28 June 1833, lot 80 as 'A scrap-book, containing 66 sketches in Switzerland, in blue and Indian ink' by 'Turner'; bought by 'Hixon', £21 11s 6d; ... Frank Dillon (1823–1909); his posthumous sale, Christie's, 21 January 1911, lot 81; bought by Sir Hickman Bacon (1855-1945) through the Shepherd Gallery, £10 10s; then by descent

Exhibition History

London, 1922, no.74


Monkhouse, 1890, pp.60–61; Armstrong, 1902, p.272 as by Joseph Mallord William Turner; Bell and Girtin, 1935, p.32; Tax-Exempt Heritage Assets list as 'An Alpine waterfall, Monro School'

About this Work

This view of the famous falls of the Reichenbach displays many of the signs that mark the unique collaboration between Girtin and his contemporary Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851) at the home of Dr Thomas Monro (1759–1833). Here they were employed across three winters, probably between 1794 and 1797, to make ‘finished drawings’ from the ‘Copies’ of the ‘outlines or unfinished drawings of Cozens’ and other artists, amateur and professional, either from Monro’s collection or lent for the purpose. As the two young artists later recalled, Girtin generally ‘drew in outlines and Turner washed in the effects’. ‘They went at 6 and staid till Ten’, which may account for the generally monochrome appearance of the works, and, as the diarist Joseph Farington (1747–1821) reported, Turner received ‘3s. 6d each night’, though ‘Girtin did not say what He had’ (Farington, Diary, 12 November 1798).1

Second View on the Reichenbach, near Meiringen in the Valley of Oberhasli

This scene, one of seven Monro School views of the Reichenbach Falls, was copied from a composition by John Robert Cozens (1752–97) that he probably executed for Richard Payne Knight (1751–1824) in 1776 (see figure 1) (Bell and Girtin, 1935, no.21). It is highly unlikely that Monro had access to Cozens’ finished watercolours, however, and the work was presumably copied either from an on-the-spot drawing made in September 1776 or from one of the tracings the artist was in the habit of producing from his own compositions. Cozens’ sketches from 1776 have not survived, but they were probably large in scale and little more than summary outlines, and that would explain why the Monro School copy is roughly the same size as the watercolour but differs significantly in the distribution of light on the rocks and the vegetation in the foreground, all of which would have been a matter of interpretation for an artist working from a simple drawing. In all, there are as many as sixty Monro School views of the Alpine scenery of France, Switzerland and northern Italy that can, with varying degrees of certainty, be associated with Cozens’ first trip to the Continent in 1776.

Establishing the division of labour within a Monro School drawing is considerably helped, as here, when the colour washes leave a significant amount of the pencil work showing clearly. Although the nature of the subject did not require detailed work, Girtin’s hand is still apparent under Turner’s economical use of a simple palette of greys and blues. Girtin’s employment at Monro’s house may have been a mechanical chore, but in the longer term it provided a repertoire of compositions that equipped him to depict sublime scenery such as The Ogwen Falls (TG1330), whilst it prepared Turner for his first trip to the Continent, where in 1802 he was able to sketch just this view of the Reichenbach Falls for himself (Courtauld Institute Gallery, London (D.1974.STC.8)).

1798 - 1799

The Ogwen Falls


by Greg Smith

Place depicted


  1. 1 The full diary entry, giving crucial details of the artists’ work at Monro’s house, is transcribed in the Documents section of the Archive (1798 – Item 2).

Revisions & Feedback

The website will be updated from time to time and, when changes are made, a PDF of the previous version of each page will be archived here for consultation and citation.

Please help us to improve this catalogue

If you have information, a correction or any other suggestions to improve this catalogue, please contact us.