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

Windsor Castle, from the River Thames

1797 - 1798

Primary Image: TG0182: Thomas Girtin (1775–1802), Windsor Castle, from the River Thames, 1797–98, graphite on wove paper, 12 × 24.6 cm, 4 ¾ × 9 ⅝ in. Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Harold Broadfield Warren (1937.154).

Photo courtesy of Harvard Art Museums / Fogg Museum, Gift of Harold Broadfield Warren / Photo: President and Fellows of Harvard College (All Rights Reserved)

Thomas Girtin (1775-1802)
  • Windsor Castle, from the River Thames
1797 - 1798
Medium and Support
Graphite on wove paper
12 × 24.6 cm, 4 ¾ × 9 ⅝ in

‘Windsor’ lower right, by Thomas Girtin

Object Type
Outline Drawing
Subject Terms
Gothic Architecture: Town and Domestic Fortifications; River Scenery; Windsor and Environs

Catalogue Number
Description Source(s)
Gallery Website


Harold Broadfield Warren (1859–1934); presented to the Museum, 1937

About this Work

Girtin’s earliest views of Windsor and nearby Eton were all executed after sketches and prints made by other artists (for example, as in TG0157), but this view looking west to the castle from the Thames has a reasonable claim to having been sketched on the spot. Two watercolours of the view of the castle from Windsor Park (TG0907 and TG1369) appear to date from around 1797–98 on stylistic grounds, and if they too were made from on-the-spot sketches, the evidence all points to a visit around that date, and it is not inconceivable that the artist broke off from his journey to or from North Wales in the latter year. Windsor, in any case, was easily accessible from London, and, though there is nothing in the style of what is a thoroughly utilitarian sketch to help pin down a precise date, the panoramic proportions do suggest sometime after 1796. Girtin does not appear to have used the drawing as the basis for a watercolour and that is not entirely surprising, for, though the bend of the river Thames at this point provides an attractive broad foreground of water, the castle itself appears rather formless, and the Round Tower, to the right, looks less than imposing from this direction.

(?) 1797–98, graphite and watercolour on paper, 22.8 × 31.7 cm., 9 × 12 ½ in. Collection of Sir John Soane’s Museum, London.

A colour sketch showing a view of Windsor Castle from Datchet Lane, including the Round Tower and the Norman Gateway (see figure 1), has been erroneously attributed to Girtin. The drawing, which is interleaved in a luxurious multi-volume extra-illustrated copy of the posthumous fourth edition of Thomas Pennant’s (1726–98) Some Account of London (Pennant, 1805), is only loosely related stylistically to Girtin’s on-the-spot sketches and it appears to date from slightly later. Indeed, it is possible to attribute the drawing to the animal painter Robert Hills (1769–1844), an assiduous on-the-spot sketcher who visited Windsor to study the deer in the Great Park.

1792 - 1793

Windsor Castle: The Norman Gateway and the Round Tower, with Part of the Queen’s Lodge


1797 - 1798

Windsor Park and Castle, from Snow Hill


1797 - 1798

Windsor Castle and the Great Park, from the South West


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.