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 and Joseph Mallord William Turner after (?) John Robert Cozens

Verona, from the River Adige

1794 - 1797

Primary Image: TG0681: Thomas Girtin (1775–1802) and Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851), after (?) John Robert Cozens (1752–97), Verona from the River Adige, graphite and watercolour on wove paper, 14.5 × 22 cm, 5 ¹³⁄₁₆ × 8 ⅝ in. Victoria and Albert Museum, London (E.3803-1934).

Photo courtesy of Victoria & Albert Museum, London

(?) Thomas Girtin (1775-1802) and Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) after (?) John Robert Cozens (1752-1797)
  • Verona, from the River Adige
1794 - 1797
Medium and Support
Graphite and watercolour on wove paper
14.5 × 22 cm, 5 ¹³⁄₁₆ × 8 ⅝ in
Object Type
Collaborations; Monro School Copy
Subject Terms
Italian View: The North; River Scenery

Catalogue Number
Description Source(s)
Viewed in March 2022


Edith Mary Burke Powell (Lady Powell, née Wood) (1848–1934); bequeathed to the Museum, 1934


V&A Collections Online as 'Verona from the Adige' by 'an anonymous artist, possibly J.M.W. Turner' (Accessed 08/09/2022)

About this Work

This view of Verona from the river Adige displays many of the signs that mark the unique collaboration between Girtin and his contemporary Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851) at the home of Dr Thomas Monro (1759–1833). Here they were employed across three winters, probably between 1794 and 1797, to make ‘finished drawings’ from the ‘Copies’ of the ‘outlines or unfinished drawings of Cozens’ and other artists, amateur and professional, either from Monro’s collection or lent for the purpose. As the two young artists later recalled, Girtin generally ‘drew in outlines and Turner washed in the effects’. ‘They went at 6 and staid till Ten’, and, as the diarist Joseph Farington (1747–1821) reported, Turner received ‘3s. 6d each night’, though ‘Girtin did not say what He had’ (Farington, Diary, 12 November 1798).1

As with many of the Italian views completed at Monro’s home, it has not been possible to trace the source of this view, looking north along the river to the Ponte Pietra with the Castel San Pietro on the hill above. In general, Girtin and Turner worked from compositions by John Robert Cozens (1752–97) and, more specifically, from sketches and tracings that he made during or after his two Italian visits, in 1776–79 and 1782–83. The auction of the artist’s work held in July 1794 contained twenty-seven ‘books of sketches’ and many hundreds of drawings made on his travels, and, as Kim Sloan has argued, given that Monro’s posthumous sale included only a few sketches by Cozens, the patron must have borrowed the bulk of the material from which Girtin and Turner worked (Sloan and Joyner, 1993, pp.81–82).2 In this case, the Cozens sketch either has not survived or has not been recognised as his work. However, given that the artist is known to have painted a watercolour titled ‘View on the River Adige, near Verona’ for William Beckford (1760–1844) (sold at Christie’s, 10 April 1805, lot 5) and that he also sketched another view in the city in June 1782 alongside his patron, it presumably dates from that trip (Bell and Girtin, 1935, no.210).

The bulk of the works sold at Monro’s posthumous sale in 1833 were attributed to Turner alone, and, despite the pioneering article published by Andrew Wilton in 1984 that established the joint authorship of many of the Monro School copies, this work has only ever been associated with Turner (Wilton, 1984a, pp.8–23). Indeed, despite the quality of the washes, comparable in their range and careful execution to another view of Verona that includes the river and its bankside buildings and their reflections (see TG0683), the drawing has been described on the V&A Collections Online as by ‘an anonymous artist, possibly J.M.W. Turner’ (O738724) and it did not feature in the most recent printed catalogue of the watercolour collection (Lambourne and Hamilton, 1980). The two Verona views are clearly by the same artist and I believe that the relatively heavily worked colouring is typical of a group of smaller Italian scenes that can be attributed to Turner, including two others from the museum that have the same provenance (TG0579 and TG0703). Though, typically of the Monro School watercolours, much of the pencil work has been effaced, just enough of Girtin’s characteristic inventive touches are still apparent, particularly in the buildings in the middle ground, to suggest that he was also involved in the work’s production.

1794 - 1797

Verona: The Church of San Giorgio in Braida on the River Adige


1794 - 1797

A Hilltop Village, Said to Be Tivoli


1794 - 1797

The Convent of San Silvestro, near Monte Compatri


by Greg Smith

Place depicted


  1. 1 The full diary entry, giving crucial details of the artists’ work at Monro’s house, is transcribed in the Documents section of the Archive (1798 – Item 2).
  2. 2 A full record of the sale is available in the Documents section of the Archive (1794 – Item 1)

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.