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Works Thomas Girtin and (?) Joseph Mallord William Turner after John Robert Cozens

Terracina: The View from the Inn, with the Temple of Jupiter Anxur

1794 - 1797

Primary Image: TG0709: Thomas Girtin (1775–1802) and (?) Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851), after John Robert Cozens (1752–97), Terracina: The View from the Inn, with the Temple of Jupiter Anxur, 1794–97, graphite and watercolour on wove paper, on an early mount, 17.9 × 23.5 cm, 7 × 9 ¼ in. Tate, Turner Bequest CCCLXXIII, 59 (D36472).

Photo courtesy of Tate (All Rights Reserved)

Artist's source: John Robert Cozens (1752–97), View From the Inn at Terracina, graphite and varnish on laid paper, 18.7 × 25.4 cm, 7 ⅜ × 10 in. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection (B1977.14.4612).

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

Thomas Girtin (1775-1802) and (?) Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) after John Robert Cozens (1752-1797)
  • Terracina: The View from the Inn, with the Temple of Jupiter Anxur
1794 - 1797
Medium and Support
Graphite and watercolour on wove paper, on an early mount
17.9 × 23.5 cm, 7 × 9 ¼ in
Mount Dimensions
36.3 × 49.5 cm, 14 ¼ × 19 ½ in
Part of
  • A volume owned by Dr Thomas Monro, now part of the Turner Bequest
Object Type
Collaborations; Monro School Copy
Subject Terms
Coasts and Shipping; Italian View: Naples and Environs

Catalogue Number
Description Source(s)
Viewed in November 2017


Dr Thomas Monro (1759–1833); his posthumous sale, Christie's, 28 June 1833, lot 78 as ‘A book containing 62 interesting sketches in the neighbourhood of Rome and Naples, by Turner, in Indian ink and blue’; bought by Thomas Griffith on behalf of Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851), £21; accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest, 1856


Finberg, 1909, vol.2, p.1230 as 'House among rocks' by Thomas Girtin; Bell and Girtin, 1935, p.55; Wilton, 1984a, p.18; Turner Online as 'At Terracina' by Joseph Mallord William Turner and Thomas Girtin (Accessed 08/09/2022)

About this Work

This view of Terracina, on the Mediterranean coast, with the temple of Jupiter Anxur on the headland above, is mounted in an album of watercolours that was bought by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851) at the posthumous sale of Dr Thomas Monro (1759–1833) (Exhibitions: Christie’s, 28 June 1833, lot 78). The sixty-four drawings were the outcome of a unique collaboration between Girtin and Turner working together at Monro’s London home at the Adelphi. Here the artists 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

The view is based on a simple outline drawing by John Robert Cozens (1752–97), inscribed ‘From the Inn at Terracina – July 5’, that is mounted in an album now at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (see the source image above). This was almost certainly traced by Cozens himself from an on-the-spot sketch he made on a second visit to Italy, in 1782 (Bell and Girtin, 1935, no.228), when the artist accompanied his patron William Beckford (1760–1844) through northern Italy to Naples. The sketch is contained in the first of seven sketchbooks that survive from the trip (The Whitworth, Manchester (D.1975.4.31)), and it was presumably traced by Cozens because the books were retained by Beckford. Monro’s posthumous sale, in 1833, contained only twenty or so sketches by Cozens, so the patron must have borrowed the majority of the ‘outlines or unfinished drawings’ copied by Girtin and Turner. In this case, the source of the watercolour was presumably purchased at the sale of ‘Mr COZENS’ in July 1794 by Sir George Beaumont (1753–1827).2 As Kim Sloan has noted, Beaumont mounted ‘215 “tracings” or drawings on oiled paper’ in an album that he presumably lent to Monro, and it was from this collection that the two young artists produced more than fifty watercolours (Sloan and Joyner, 1993, pp.89–91). Beckford’s journey south through Italy included a brief stop in Rome, before continuing along the coast to Naples. Cozens had already made a similar sketch of the headland at Terracina in 1777, and this too formed the basis for a Monro School drawing (TG0649). As the inscription notes, the later Cozens sketch was made from ‘the Inn at Terracina’, where Beckford’s party presumably stopped for the night before crossing the border into the Kingdom of Naples.

The album containing this drawing was sold in 1833 as the work of Turner, but the cataloguer of the Turner Bequest, Alexander Finberg, thought that Girtin alone was responsible for the watercolours, whilst more recently Andrew Wilton has established their joint authorship (Finberg, 1909, vol.2, p.1230; Wilton, 1984a, pp.8–23). In general, I am more than happy to follow Wilton’s dual attribution of the Monro School works, but in this case, although the pencil work is undoubtedly by Girtin, the attribution of the grey and blue washes to Turner is not so convincing. The way in which a darker tone of grey is added to a very generalised ground, often with the tip of the brush, to create a series of abstract shapes, is more characteristic of Girtin’s work around 1796–97, and, as in the case of A Convent on Monte della Madonna in the Euganean Hills (TG0707), I suspect that Turner was not involved in the production of this work. Making pencil outlines of landscape subjects presumably took less time than colouring them, so that if Girtin’s attendance at Monro’s house matched Turner’s in terms of frequency, he would have had opportunities to contribute to the process of enhancing his own outlines.

1794 - 1797

Terracina, on the Coast between Rome and Naples, with the Temple of Jupiter Anxur


1794 - 1797

A Convent on Monte della Madonna in the Euganean Hills


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).
  2. 2 A full record of the sale is available in the Documents section of the Archive (1794 – Item 1)

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