View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
[from] The Rivers of England (‘River Scenery’) pub.1823–7 [T04868-T04871; complete]
Four mezzotints, all proofs before letters, various papers and sizes, from a series of twenty-one plates after J.M.W. Turner (see T04790-T04819, T04917), Thomas Girtin and William Collins (see T04867)
Purchased (Grant-in-Aid) 1986
Prov: ...; N.W. Lott and H.J. Gerrish Ltd, from whom bt by Tate Gallery
Lit: Jonathan Mayne, Thomas Girtin 1775–1802, 1949; Thomas Girtin and David Loshak, The Art of Thomas Girtin, 1954; see also under After Turner T 04790–04819 and After Collins T04867
The history of this series, and a list of the engravers involved, is given in the introduction to After Turner T04790-T04819 below. Another view after Girtin for this series, of Durham on the River Wear, was advertised in the second part of the series as in preparation, but was never published. Turner is said to have touched the proofs of the plates after Girtin for The Rivers of England in respect for his friend's memory, although it is stated that he claimed ‘two guineas a piece’ as a fee (T. Miller, Turner and Girtin's Picturesque Views, 1854, quoted in Eric Shanes, Turner's Rivers, Harbours and Coasts, 1981, p.10). For an example of a proof touched by Turner and inscribed with his initials, see under T04869.
T04869 York Minster on the River Foss engr. T. Lupton
Mezzotint 147 × 229 (5 1/4 × 9) on laid paper 341 × 508 (13 7/16 × 20); plate-mark 195 × 275 (7 5/8 × 10 3/4)
Lit: Mayne 1949, p.90
Engraver's proof of plate no.7 of The Rivers of England, published 1824; bound as plate 7 of River Scenery. Original watercolour: Girtin and Loshak 1954, no.154 ii. Another mezzotint reproducing this watercolour was engraved c.1823 for Liber Naturae by S.W. Reynolds (see Girtin and Loshak 1954, p.155) and reprinted in 1883. In explaining how Turner is believed to have touched the plates for this series out of respect for Girtin's memory, W.G. Rawlinson cited the example of this print, an impression of which bearing the initials ‘J.M.W.T.’ was found in Turner's house on his death (W.G. Rawlinson, The Engraved Work of J.M.W. Turner, II, 1913, p.364).
Tate Gallery: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions 1986-88, London 1996