As with all of the subjects that were engraved after Girtin’s works, a number of copies of this composition exist, of varying quality. A signed version by François Louis Thomas Francia (1772–1839), one of the artist’s colleagues in the Sketching Society, is in the collection of the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (see figure 1), and the same collection is home to a larger, anonymous copy (see figure 2). The latter replicates both the scale and the palette of Girtin’s watercolour, and was presumably copied from this work rather than the print. Although it is rather lifeless, it is by no means the worst copy I have seen, and I cannot help but wonder whether it may not have been the work of Samuel William Reynolds (1773–1835), who acted on behalf of the artist in his final years in a role somewhere between agent and dealer, and who was responsible for many of the better versions of Girtin’s compositions.
The Watermill above the Bridge at Charenton: Pencil Study for Plate Nineteen of ‘Picturesque Views in Paris’
The Watermill above the Bridge at Charenton: Colour Study for Plate Nineteen of ‘Picturesque Views in Paris’