Thomas Girtin

1775 - 1802 English painter, draughtsman and printmaker

Girtin was the son of a brush-maker. In 1788 he was apprenticed to the topographical watercolourist Edward Dayes and is thought to have served the full seven years required.

In 1794 he toured the Midlands with the antiquarian James Moore. In the same year he exhibited at the Royal Academy for the first time, where he continued to exhibit throughout his career. Between mid-1794 and 1797 Girtin worked alongside J.M.W. Turner copying drawings by J.R. Cozens and others which were in the possession of Dr Thomas Munro. In 1796 and 1799 he made sketching trips to North Wales. Between 1798 and 1800 Girtin attended meetings of 'The Brothers', a sketching society, which included artists such as Robert Ker Ported and Louis Francia.

He visited Paris between 1801 and 1802 to explore the possibility of exhibiting his London panorama, the Eidometropolis, there; this proved unrealistic and the work was exhibited in London in the summer of 1802. Nevertheless while in Paris did produce panoramic sketches for 'Twenty Views of Paris and its Environs', which were published in 1803 following the artist's death. Along with his friend and rival Turner, Girtin is credited with having led the revolution in watercolour painting of the 1790s.
  • Gender
    Male
  • Relationship
    Artist/maker
  • Nationality
    British: English
  • Born
    1775-02-18
  • Place of birth
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: London: Southwark
  • Died
    1802-11-09
  • Place of death
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: London: Southwark
  • Cause of death
    Unknown or unrecorded
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