View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
This is one of the many monochromatic wash drawings produced by members of the Sketching Society, which included Girtin, Joshua Cristall and John Varley. The Society met once a week for dinner, discussion and sketching. The host chose a literary subject to be drawn from their imaginations. They followed Reynolds's advice for achieving dramatic effect: 'by reducing¿ colours to little more than chiaro oscuro' (the use of contrasting darks and lights). Girtin's application of dark, broad, flat washes separated by areas of unpainted paper clearly demonstrates this technique.
Gallery label, August 2004