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Works Thomas Girtin

The West End of an Unidentified Church

1798 - 1799


Thomas Girtin (1775-1802)
  • The West End of an Unidentified Church
1798 - 1799
Medium and Support
Watercolour on paper
24.1 × 15.2 cm, 9 ½ × 6 in
Object Type
Studio Watercolour
Subject Terms
Gothic Architecture: Parish Church; Unidentified Topographical View

Catalogue Number
Girtin & Loshak Number
297 as 'West End of an Unidentified Church'; '1798–9'
Description Source(s)
Girtin and Loshak, 1954


Dr Thomas Monro (1759–1833); possibly his posthumous sale, Christie’s, 1 July 1833, lot 110 as 'View of a church'; bought by 'Monro', £3 10s; Alexander Monro (1802–44); ... J. B. Morrell, York (Girtin and Loshak, 1954)

About this Work

This view of the west end of an unidentified church was recorded by Thomas Girtin (1874–1960) and David Loshak as being in the collection of a Mr J. B. Morrell of York in 1954, but no trace of it has been found since, and the watercolour does not appear to have been photographed. The authors of the catalogue of the artist’s works described it as a ‘Close view’ of the west end of a church with a ‘gabled end of nave with early perpendicular window and doorway, two heavy supporting buttresses at near corner; square tower with cupola, partly hidden by nave; two donkeys at foot of tower’ (Girtin and Loshak, 1954, pp.174–75). Needless to say, it is impossible to make any comments on the attribution to Girtin on the basis of such slim evidence. However, the authors did go on to suggest that the work came from the collection of Dr Thomas Monro (1759–1833), and so it may be that the view depicts one of the churches in Surrey that were located near to the patron’s rented summer cottage at Fetcham, as with the watercolour Capel Church (TG0857). A copy of the missing drawing by Marianne Agnew (unknown dates), sister-in-law of Monro’s son Alexander Monro (1802–44), was formerly in the Girtin collection, though no trace of this has been found either (Girtin Archive, 7).

1797 - 1798

Capel Church


by Greg Smith

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