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Works Thomas Girtin after (?) Edward Dayes

The Bridge at Appleby

1795 - 1796

Print after: John Walker (active 1776–1802), 'from an Original Drawing by T. Girtin', etching and engraving, 'Appleby' for The Copper-Plate Magazine, vol.4, no.84, pl.168, 1 January 1799, 15 × 20 cm, 5 ⅞ × 7 ⅞ in. Reprinted in Thomas Miller, Turner and Girtin's Picturesque Views, p.133, 1854. British Museum, London (1862,0712.936).

Photo courtesy of The Trustees of the British Museum (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Thomas Girtin (1775-1802) after (?) Edward Dayes (1763-1804)
  • The Bridge at Appleby
1795 - 1796
Medium and Support
Watercolour on paper
14 × 20.3 cm, 5 ½ × 8 ½ in
Object Type
Drawing for a Print; Work from a Known Source: Contemporary British
Subject Terms
The Lake District, Westmorland

The Bridge at Appleby (TG0299)
Catalogue Number
Description Source(s)
Auction Catalogue


Arthur Acland Allen (1868–1939); his sale, Sotheby's, 4 April 1935, lot 58; bought by Gooden & Fox Ltd., £48


Finberg, 1910, p.300

About this Work

Appleby, Westmorland

Girtin’s second view of Appleby in Westmorland has not been seen since it was sold at auction in 1935. Given that no photograph appears to exist, it is known only from an engraving that appeared in The Copper-Plate Magazine in 1799 (see the print after, above) (Walker, 1792–1802, vol.4). Girtin certainly never travelled to Appleby, and therefore, as in the case of the similar view that he painted for Dr Thomas Monro (1759–1833) (TG0299), he must have based his watercolour on a composition by his master, Edward Dayes (1763–1804). The engraving closely resembles the larger of the two watercolour versions by Dayes (see figure figure 1), including, as it does, the overarching tree to the left that is omitted in the small watercolour produced for Monro, as well as more of the buildings to the right. Indeed, so close is the comparison of the engraving made and published by John Walker (active 1776–1802) in 1799 and the watercolour by Dayes that, were it not for the inscription on the former, which reads ‘from an Original Drawing by T. Girtin’, I suspect that I would have assumed that the print was after the work by Girtin’s master. In the absence of even any photographic evidence, the issue must be left unresolved until the reappearance of the work. However, to summarise, there are three options to be considered. Firstly, it may be that Girtin is the author of the untraced watercolour but that, on this rare occasion, he based his work very closely on a finished drawing by Dayes and that Walker’s assertion that it was an ‘Original’ by Girtin was designed to cash in at a time when Girtin’s commercial stock was high. Secondly, the missing watercolour might actually be by Dayes and the publisher might have either accidentally or deliberately misrepresented the fact. Finally, could it actually be that the larger watercolour attributed to Dayes, now at Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal (see figure 1), is the work sold at auction in 1935 as by Girtin? The measurements certainly tally and it may even be that it was this Appleby view that was engraved.

1795 - 1796

The Bridge at Appleby


by Greg Smith

Place depicted

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