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Works (?) Thomas Girtin after (?) Edward Dayes

Worcester, from the River Severn

(?) 1792

Primary Image: TG0077: (?) Thomas Girtin (1775–1802), after (?) Edward Dayes (1763–1804), Worcester, from the River Severn, (?) 1792, graphite and watercolour on wove paper, 22.8 × 29.5 cm, 9 × 11 ⅝ in. Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields (1996.148).

Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields (Public Domain)

(?) Thomas Girtin (1775-1802) after (?) Edward Dayes (1763-1804)
  • Worcester, from the River Severn
(?) 1792
Medium and Support
Graphite and watercolour on wove paper
22.8 × 29.5 cm, 9 × 11 ⅝ in
Object Type
Work from a Known Source: Contemporary British
Subject Terms
Gothic Architecture: Cathedral View; River Scenery; The Welsh Borders: Herefordshire and Worcestershire

Catalogue Number
Description Source(s)
Museum Website


Sir Henry Doulton (1820–97); then by descent to Lewis John Eric Hooper (1879–1955); his widow, Elizabeth Hooper (1897–1975); ... Christie's, 5 November 1974, lot 154 as by Joseph Mallord William Turner; bought by John Mitchell & Son, 1100 gns, for Kurt F. Pantzer (1892–1979); bequeathed to the Museum, entering the collection in 1996


Krause, 1997, pp.50–51 as by Edward Dayes; IMA Collection Online as by Edward Dayes (accessed 02/09/2022)

About this Work

Worcester Cathedral from the River

This view of Worcester Cathedral with the square tower of All Saints to the left and the spire of St Andrew in the centre has not until now been associated with Girtin. For much of its recorded history the work was attributed to Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851), who visited the city in 1793; however, after its acquisition by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the authorship was changed to Edward Dayes (1763–1804) and the work was given a date of about 1795. However, although it is not signed, the work contains a number of stylistic elements that link it to some of the watercolours Girtin produced whilst an apprentice to Dayes after his master’s compositions, including Rochester Castle, from the River Medway (TG0057). Features such as the horizontal lines in the water, the simple blocked-out foreground bank and the subdued palette – albeit changed by fading – are all features of a number of works that were executed during Girtin’s apprenticeship to Dayes and that his master looked to sell at auction as his period of indentures came to an early end around 1792. It is possible, therefore, that this watercolour was the view of Worcester sold by Greenwood in 1793 (Exhibitions: Greenwood, 24 May 1793, lot 75) and that it reappeared at Langdon’s in 1803 as by ‘J. Girtin’ and with the title ‘A View of Worcester Cathedral, with the River, small Craft near the Town, Figures, &c.’ (Exhibitions: Langdon, 13 April 1803, lot 65). Intriguingly, a Girtin View of Worcester was sold by Dr Thomas Monro (1759–1833) as early as 1799 (Exhibitions: Christie’s, 11 May 1799, lot 54) and it is possible that Girtin’s important early patron therefore first came across the artist’s work through an early sale of one of his apprentice works.

The Dayes composition on which this watercolour was based has not been traced, though a small view from the opposite direction survives (see figure 1). Dayes visited the cathedral towns of Hereford and Worcester in 1792 and this trip provided Girtin with material for a number of other compositions, including Hereford Cathedral, from the River Wye (TG0155), which is signed and dated 1793.

(?) 1791

Rochester Castle, from the River Medway



Hereford Cathedral, from the River Wye


by Greg Smith

Place depicted

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