4 July 1853

Notes handed to Joseph John Jenkins (1811–85), an early historian of the watercolour profession, by the artist’s son, Thomas Calvert Girtin (1801–74) (Archives of the Royal Watercolour Society, J39/20)

Thomas Calvert Girtin claimed that his father

spent much of his time at Lord Harewood’s and during his absence he began to write very pretty & playful letters to his wife and her mother – he was fond of writing them in easy kind of verses, which were very witty and amusing – and it is very much to be regretted that none of them have been preserved, but when his wife married again – I have understood she destroyed them. He was considered by all who knew him a most delightful companion, noble minded and generous to a fault. His Painting room was always open to his Brother Artists, and he was always happy to give them the benefit of his advice, and instruction; and he was often blessed by his friends for allowing them to stand over him while he was at work, that they might see how he produced his effects. 

He would sit for hours in the rain observing the effects of storms and clouds on the atmosphere.

His devotion to his art was unbounded, and his industry unabated to the last.