Documents, Dated Watercolours and Early Accounts of the Artist
Edward Edwards, Anecdotes of Painters Who Have Resided or Been Born in England with Critical Remarks on Their Productions (Edwards, 1808, pp.279–80)
Was the scholar of Mr. Dayes. He drew landscape in a loose, free manner, with more of effect than truth. He exhibited a Panorama View of London at the Great Room in Spring-gardens. It was painted by himself, but was not much noticed by the public, nor did he live to see its exhibition close.
There is a very good set of prints, the outlines of which were etched by himself, and afterwards finished in1 aqua tinta by other artists, from drawings which he made, of Views of Paris, taken upon the spot after the conclusion of the peace of Amiens. The prints were finished and published about three weeks after his death. There are twenty in number, dedicated to Lord Essex, who purchased the original drawings.
Girtin died at his lodgings in the Strand, November the 9th, 1802, and was buried in Covent-garden churchyard, at the early age of twenty-seven years: but intemperance and irregularity have no claim to longevity.
John Lemprière, Universal Biography: Containing a Copious Account, Critical and Historical, of the Life and Character, Labors and Actions of Eminent Persons (Lemprière, 1808, p.584)
GIRTIN, John, an English painter of great excellence. His landscapes in watercolors, and in oil, were much admired. The views of London and Paris, exhibited in the Panorama in London, were by him, and are pleasing proofs of his genius and taste. Though laboring under the attacks of a dreadful asthma, he followed his profession till within a few days of his death, which happened Nov. 1802, in his 30th year.
- 1 The aqua tinta parts of these plates were by different artists who practised in that line of art, and their names are as follow: Lewis, Petite, Harradine, &c.