1 February 1807

The etching Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire by Letitia Byrne (1779–1849) is published by Thomas Palser (active 1789–1843) as part of an untraced publication, Finished Etchings of Picturesque Views (see print after TG1677).

24 March 1807

Kenneth Garlick and others, eds., The Diary of Joseph Farington (Farington, Diary, 24 March 1807)

According to the diarist Joseph Farington (1747–1821), Henry Phipps, 1st Earl of Mulgrave (1755–1831)

spoke with much regard of the memory of Girtin the Artist who was with Him a little time at Mulgrave Castle. – He thought him a good natured open dispositioned man. He then laboured under symptoms of an Asthma which not long afterwards killed him. Girtin having a desire to carry to Paris a Panorama view of London with a view to exhibit it there, Lord Mulgrave procured him a Passport; but when he arrived at Paris he was not permitted to exhibit it.

14 May 1807

St. James’s Chronicle, 14 May 1807, p.4

In a letter censuring the criticism of ‘rising merit’ from base motives (referring to the ‘young Scottish Artist’ David Wilkie (1785–1841), who had made an impact at the previous year’s exhibition), the anonymous correspondent notes the comparable case of a reprobate collector ‘who could never hear the late ingenious Girtin praised, without suffering the most excruciating torture, and betraying the most malignant symptoms of chagrin’ and who ‘now vents his spleen against the modest northern youth’.

1 August 1807

The Monthly Magazine, vol.24, part 2 (August 1807), p.65

The etching Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire by Letitia Byrne (1779–1849) (see print after TG1677) is one of a series that are described by an anonymous reviewer of Finished Etchings of Picturesque Views as possessing ‘a delicacy and softness which is extremely attractive, and in the general effect … peculiarly clear and picturesque’.

Late 1807

‘Ueber die Panorama’s von London und Boulogne in Paris’, London und Paris, vol.19 (1807), pp.331–33 (1807 – Item 1)

The review describes the second exhibition in Paris of a London panorama that appears to have been Girtin’s Eidometropolis. Both this review and an earlier account in London und Paris (1804 – Item 2) describe the same view of London that Girtin took from a rooftop adjacent to the British Plate Glass Warehouse. Despite the claim that the panorama was painted by ‘Prévost’ (Pierre Prévost (1764–1823)) his role was presumably no more than adapting the original canvas.

About the panoramas of London and Boulogne in Paris

The panoramas of Rome and Naples have now been taken down and their place taken by two of London and Boulogne. The public has gained little by this, however, for the new exhibits are far inferior to the old. The choice of standpoint from which London was drawn, namely the glasshouses near Black friar’s bridge, could hardly have been worse, because there is not a single important public building close by. They are all so far away that one cannot distinguish them in the least. Incidentally Mr. Prévost (who painted the panorama) has let his patriotic feelings get the better of him, for he shows us the Tower of London at such a great distance that the ships around it are all but invisible – only a few masts the size of straws hidden behind a projecting bridge. Along the Thames near the above-mentioned Black friar’s Bridge one sees only three or four miserable little fishing boats, although the writer knows from experience that this stretch of the famous river is crowded with vessels of every kind.

Then, after discussing the ‘patriotic’ depiction of Boulogne, the reviewer resumes discussion of both, beginning:

The painting in both panoramas is nonetheless excellent and deceptively real; the grey skies above London are artfully natural, but in all the years this reporter spent in London, he cannot recall ever having see the surface of the Thames so calm and unruffled as it is shown in the panorama. Mansion House, the Abbey and bridge at Westminster, the Tower, the Port of London, the Houses of Parliament, Horse Guards and Whitehall are all virtually unrecognizable because of the distance. What interest can such a panorama have for anyone who has lived in this city and come to see it as home, in a manner of speaking? This is why everyone who has never been there leaves the exhibition exclaiming, bah! people go on so about London, but what a miserable place it must be!

Unlike the panorama of Boulogne, however:

It is always worth going to see a panorama, especially since it costs very little to increase one’s knowledge, not more than forty sous per picture – unless you buy the guide to the features shown, which costs extra.

Those who have not visited the place will, the reviewer adds, find a guide ‘almost indispensable if they are to find the panorama of any interest’.

December 1807

George Dawe, The Life of George Morland (Dawe, 1807, p.200)

A footnote referring to a mezzotint of a work by George Morland (1763–1804), Mail Coach in a Storm (executed by Samuel William Reynolds (1773–1835) in 1801), notes that it was a ‘print which was highly admired by Girtin, who having been requested to make a companion to it, after studying it for some time, threw down his pencil, exclaiming – That he could not do anything like it’.

1800 - 1801

Bolton Abbey: The East End of the Priory Church, from across the River Wharfe


1800 - 1801

Bolton Abbey: The East End of the Priory Church, from across the River Wharfe