Thomas Girtin

Trees in a Park


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Thomas Girtin 1775–1802
Graphite, chalk and watercolour on paper
Support: 244 × 441 mm
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996

Display caption

In the 1790s Thomas Girtin and J.M.W.Turner (no.78) were the prime leaders in the revolution of watercolour technique. They evolved a bolder and more expressive use of the medium, especially in response to the more dramatic and evocative scenery they encountered in Yorkshire and North Wales. Individual studies of trees are rare in Girtin's work, since he generally preferred to paint broad stretches of open countryside. This one was made in a park, perhaps in Cassiobury Park in Hertfordshire. Girtin enjoyed a reputation in his own lifetime for making sketches in the open air. However, this study seems more likely to have been coloured in the studio.

Gallery label, August 2004

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