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    Sale 7591

    British Art on Paper

    4 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 4

    Joseph Mallord William Turner, R.A. (1775-1851) and Thomas Girtin (1775-1802)

    The Bishop's Palace at Brescia, Northern Italy

    Price Realised  


    Joseph Mallord William Turner, R.A. (1775-1851) and Thomas Girtin (1775-1802)
    The Bishop's Palace at Brescia, Northern Italy
    pencil and watercolour
    5¾ x 8½ in. (14.6 x 21.5 cm.)

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    Although no prototype has been found, the present drawing is probably based on an original drawing by John Robert Cozens 1752-1797, copied by Turner and Girtin at Dr Monro's 'Academy'. Dr. Thomas Monro was consultant physician to King George III and Principal Physician at Bethlem Hospital. In 1794 he bought a large house in Adelphi Terrace overlooking the Thames. Soon after purchasing the house, Monro established what became known as his 'Academy' where young artists were invited to copy the work of earlier, more established artists.

    Joseph Farington, also associated with the Monro Academy, met Turner and Girtin at a dinner with the Hoppners and wrote in his Diary, 12 November 1798: 'they had been employed by Dr. Monro 3 years to draw at his house in the evenings. They went at 6 and staid til ten. Girtin drew in outlines and Turner washed in the effects. They were chiefly employed in copying the outlines of unfinished drawings by Cozens &c &c of which Copies they made finished drawings...The Academy apparently met on Fridays, and the students sat two to a desk, sharing a candle'. For a full account of the watercolours executed in collaboration by Turner and Girtin in 1794-8, while students at the Monro Academy, see A. Wilton, The 'Monro School Question: Some Answers', Turner Studies, Winter, London, 1984, p. 8-23.

    We are grateful to Andrew Wilton for dating the present watercolour to 1794-5.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    S. Rogers.
    Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 9 February, 1951, lot 50 (18 gns to [illegible]) as by J.M.W. Turner.