5 November 1842

‘The Fine Arts’, The Spectator, 5 November 1842, p.1075

The weekly column on the fine arts includes a report on the appearance of Chelsea Reach, Looking towards Battersea (The White House, Chelsea) (TG1740) at the gallery of the dealer David Thomas White (active 1834–60):

The other is a water-colour drawing by GIRTIN, the finest work of one of the greatest English landscape-painters, and the founder and head of the water-colour school: it is a view on the Thames at Chelsea Reach, with an effect of evening twilight; and never has the solemn repose and fading splendour of the dying day been more truly and beautifully depicted. A wide expanse of water fills the foreground, reflecting the dusky clouds gathering in the horizon, which is golden with the last rays of the setting sun; and the distant landscape melts into dim indistinctness, illumined only by faint gleams of light: the river is still and calm; a solitary barge floats stealthily in the shade, and the white sail of a skiff is seen like a speck in the light. GIRTIN had an affection for flat level scenes and tranquil effects: he loved to paint the elements in calm repose, and water was as necessary to him as atmosphere and light. His works are few, for he died young; and being rare they are the more welcome: this one belongs to Mr. White, the picture-dealer, in Maddox Street; and whoever desires to see what the old school of watercolour painting could produce, should ask to be favoured with a sight of it.


Chelsea Reach, Looking towards Battersea (The White House, Chelsea)