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 James Moore and Thomas Girtin

Undercliff, near Hastings

(?) 1795

Primary Image: TG0309: James Moore (1762–99) and Thomas Girtin (1775–1802), Undercliff, near Hastings, (?) 1795, graphite on wove paper, 17.4 × 22.5 cm, 6 ⅞ × 8 ⅞ in. Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford (WA1916.20.23).

Photo courtesy of Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford (All Rights Reserved)

James Moore (1762-1799) and Thomas Girtin (1775-1802)
  • Undercliff, near Hastings
(?) 1795
Medium and Support
Graphite on wove paper
17.4 × 22.5 cm, 6 ⅞ × 8 ⅞ in
Object Type
Collaborations; Outline Drawing
Subject Terms
Picturesque Vernacular; Sussex View

Catalogue Number
Description Source(s)
Viewed in 2016


James Moore (1762–99); his widow, Mary Moore (née Howett) (d.1835); bequeathed to Anne Miller (1802–90); bequeathed to Edward Mansel Miller (1829–1912); bequeathed to Helen Louisa Miller (1842–1915); bought and presented anonymously to the Museum, 1916


Brown, 1982, p.471, no.1411 as 'Undercliff, Hastings' by James Moore

About this Work

Undercliff, Hastings

This pencil drawing by Girtin’s first significant patron, the antiquarian and amateur artist James Moore (1762–99), was probably made on the third and final tour he undertook to record the medieval castles and churches of Sussex. In this case, however, Moore sketched a more prosaic street scene, and it is one of two views that record Undercliff, the road that runs parallel to the coast under the cliffs that look down on the village of St Leonards, west of Hastings (see figure 1). The complex architectural details of the Gothic buildings that usually attracted Moore’s attention were often beyond the amateur’s limited abilities and he employed Girtin to elaborate a significant group of his sketches. In comparison with the views of the churches of All Saints and St Clement in Hastings, however, Girtin’s intervention here is much less extensive and is restricted to reinforcing the main outlines. Much of Moore’s indecisive pencil work shows through, therefore, and areas such as the building in the foreground are left substantially untouched, allowing one to appreciate the way in which Girtin improved his patron’s drawings. The other view of Undercliff sketched by Moore includes little or no work by Girtin and consequently we can even better appreciate Girtin’s contribution in this sketch.

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.