Documents, Dated Watercolours and Early Accounts of the Artist
15 January 1856
Notes by Joseph John Jenkins (1811–85), an early historian of the watercolour profession, on a meeting with John Henderson II (1797–1878), son of Girtin’s early supporter John Henderson (1764–1843) (Archives of the Royal Watercolour Society, J107/227)
Visited Mr Henderson at his House 3 Montague St Russell Square to see his Collection of drawings, & Pictures Stayed from ¼ past 11 until ½ past 2 - took Lunch with him - Mr Henderson has a very large collection - part were his Fathers who was college companion at Oxford with Dr Monro and afterwards lived next door to the Dr in the Adelphi Terrace. Garrick lived the door on the other side - Mr Henderson Senr and Dr Monro were both good amateur artists at their Houses Cousens Turner & Girtin when lads used to spend their evenings, and make Drawings, 3 / 6 each were given to them and a supper by way of encouragement - Many of the slight early Drawings in neutral tint - Indian ink & and were done at the Houses of Dr Monro and Mr Henderson. Mr Henderson exhibited me two early Drawings by Turner done from his Fathers pencil sketches - and many by Girtin - two or 3 from Dances (I think) Views in London in which the effects are altered another from Canaletti - these youths copied anything that came in their way changing altering or improving the effects according to their tastes or feeling of the moment -
Cousens Drawings are of more poetical cast than either Girtins or Turners in their early Periods - both Girtin and Turner to a certain extent were topographical - Cousens scenery in Italy in which the gradations are beautifully and tenderly marked and are full of light possessing much of those qualities for which Turner afterwards became so renowned -
In addition to Cousens’ Turners & Girtins Early Drawings I saw many of Hearnes - neat and pretty but wanting in the better qualities of the others.