Cornelius Varley, ‘Evening at Llanberis, North Wales’ 1805
Cornelius Varley
Evening at Llanberis, North Wales 1805
John Sell Cotman, ‘Doorway of the Refectory, Rievaulx Abbey’ 1803
John Sell Cotman
Doorway of the Refectory, Rievaulx Abbey 1803

Girtin was a sociable man who kept an open studio, so that many younger landscape watercolourists watched and absorbed his methods. His style was also more readily accessible than the complex improvisations of his great contemporary, J.M.W. Turner. This room contains examples of his influence on the works of a number of young watercolourists, including Cornelius Varley’s Evening at Llanberis, North Wales (no.185), Peter de Wint’s Yorkshire Fells (no.189), and John Sell Cotman’s Doorway of the Refectory, Rievaulx Abbey, Yorkshire (no.187). Older artists, such as John Constable, also absorbed his influence in private aspects of their practice. There is no doubt that Girtin’s short career proved one of the most influential in the history of British watercolours.