Thomas Girtin
An Ancient Castle. Sketching Society Subject date not known

Artwork details

Thomas Girtin 1775–1802
An Ancient Castle. Sketching Society Subject
Date Date not known
Medium Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 204 x 303 mm
Acquisition Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

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.

August 2004

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