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Works Thomas Girtin after James Moore

Warkworth Castle, from the River Coquet

1792 - 1793

Primary Image: TG0177: Thomas Girtin (1775–1802), after James Moore (1762–99), Warkworth Castle, from the River Coquet, 1792–93, graphite and watercolour on two pieces of wove paper, 34.6 × 44 cm, 13 ⅝ × 17 ¼ in. Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford (WA1921.12).

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

Artist's source: James Moore (1762–99), Warkworth Castle, 18 August 1792, graphite on wove paper, 18.1 × 22.7 cm, 7 ⅛ × 8 ¹⁵⁄₁₆ in. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection (B1975.3.698).

Photo courtesy of Yale Center for British Art

Thomas Girtin (1775-1802) after James Moore (1762-1799)
  • Warkworth Castle, from the River Coquet
1792 - 1793
Medium and Support
Graphite and watercolour on two pieces of wove paper
34.6 × 44 cm, 13 ⅝ × 17 ¼ in
Object Type
Work after an Amateur Artist
Subject Terms
Castle Ruins; Durham and Northumberland

Warkworth Castle, from the River Coquet (TG0121)
Catalogue Number
Girtin & Loshak Number
34ii as 'Warkworth Castle, Northumberland'; '1793–4'
Description Source(s)
Viewed in 2001 and 2016


Augustus Joel Walker (1868–1965); presented to the Museum, 1921

Exhibition History

Walker’s Galleries, 1921, no.63; Newcastle, 1982, no.72


Mayne, 1949, p.99; Hardie, 1966–68, vol.2, p.4; Brown, 1982, p.321, no.701

About this Work

Warkworth Castle, from the River Coquet is one of eight watercolours sold in 1921 that were said to have been commissioned from the young Girtin and that remained in the same family collection until that date (Exhibitions: Walker’s Galleries, 1921). The group includes views of Hereford Cathedral (TG0070 and TG0166), Warwick Castle (TG0168), Chepstow Castle (TG0170), Lindisfarne Priory (TG0210) and Valle Crucis Abbey (TG0208). Girtin could not have visited any of these locations by this date, so all of the drawings must therefore have been made after compositions either by his master, Edward Dayes (1763–1804), or, as here, James Moore (1762–99) (see the source image above). Girtin made another version of the composition for the antiquarian and amateur artist (TG0121); in terms of size and presentation style, that work conformed to the format he followed in the seventy or so small watercolours that he produced after Moore’s sketches. This watercolour, like the views of Hereford, Warwick, Chepstow, Lindisfarne and Warkworth, was tailored for a different market, however. Its larger scale meant that it might be framed for display on the wall, and the artist developed a more complex group of figures and rivercraft that is in keeping with a view that was not commissioned solely for its antiquarian subject.

The eight watercolours sold together in 1921 form a coherent group in terms of their scale, function and formal language, and the subjects – including ruined castles and abbeys, together with the cathedral of Hereford, each carefully placed in its landscape setting – are linked thematically. None of the works are dated, but there is nothing to suggest that they were not produced at roughly the same time that Girtin is documented as having worked for Moore for a fee of six shillings a day, from October 1792 to February 1793 (Moore, Payments, 1792–93).1 Certainly, that might explain why the artist had access to Moore’s sketches as well as Dayes’. Stylistically, this work is therefore comparable with watercolours such Rochester Castle, from the River Medway (TG0057), which Dayes sent off to the sale rooms before or soon after his apprentice left his control prematurely, sometime in 1792. Thus, although the group may have been commissioned from the young artist, the income from the works presumably still went to Girtin’s master as part of the price of paying off his indentures.

The generally good condition of the watercolour is spoilt by the unsightly insertion of an additional hexagon-shaped piece of paper. This was presumably done by Girtin, either to correct an error or, perhaps more likely, given that the work was made on commission, to repair a damaged area of the paper.

1792 - 1793

Hereford Cathedral


1792 - 1793

A Distant View of Hereford Cathedral


1792 - 1793

The Gatehouse and Barbican, Warwick Castle


1792 - 1793

Chepstow Castle, from the River Wye


1792 - 1793

Lindisfarne Priory Church, Looking West from the Choir


1792 - 1793

The East End of Valle Crucis Abbey Church


1792 - 1793

Warkworth Castle, from the River Coquet


(?) 1791

Rochester Castle, from the River Medway


by Greg Smith

Place depicted


  1. 1 The document detailing the payments made to the young Girtin by Moore is transcribed in full in the Documents section of the Archive (1792–93 – Item 1).

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