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

The Crypt of Kirkstall Abbey

1800 - 1801


Thomas Girtin (1775-1802)
  • The Crypt of Kirkstall Abbey
1800 - 1801
Medium and Support
Watercolour on paper
31.1 × 24.1 cm, 12 ¼ × 9 ½ in
Object Type
Studio Watercolour
Subject Terms
Monastic Ruins; Yorkshire View

Catalogue Number
Description Source(s)
Girtin and Loshak, 1954


Thomas Calvert Girtin (1801–74); then by descent to George Wyndham Girtin (1836–1912) (lent to London, 1875); by a settlement to his sister, Mary Hog Barnard (1829–99); her sale, Christie’s, 31 May 1886, lot 57; bought by Thos. Agnew & Sons, £12 12s (stock no.8017) for E. W. Hooper, plus 5% commission

Exhibition History

London, 1875, no.55


Girtin and Loshak, 1954, p.209

About this Work

The Refectory of Kirkstall Abbey

This view of the interior of the basement of one of the conventual buildings at Kirkstall has not been seen since it was sold in 1886, having originally come from the Girtin family collection. The watercolour has never been photographed and it is therefore not possible to comment either on the attribution to Girtin or indeed on the work’s precise subject. Girtin’s contemporary Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851) also painted a view of the ‘crypt’ (see figure 1), actually the undercroft of the monk’s dormitory. Given that he almost certainly preceded Girtin in visiting the site, it would be interesting to know whether his watercolour influenced the artist’s choice of subject in any way (Sitch, 2008, p.8).

by Greg Smith

Place depicted

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.