The first watercolour is an example of Turner and Girtin working together, after a composition by John Robert Cozens of Interlaken or Unterseen, Yale Centre for British Art (see A. Wilton, The Art of John Robert Cozens, New Haven, 1980, p. 40, no. 89, pl. 35). Here we see Girtin's pencil work with his finely accented drawing with wash applied by Turner, creating a remarkably luminous effect. The drawing dates from circa 1795-6. This drawing was executed at a time when Turner and Girtin met at the drawing academy of Dr Monro, of whom Cozens was a patient, they also received tuition from John Henderson, who introduced the two young artists to the drawings of Canaletto. Joseph Farington, also associated with the academy wrote in his Diary of 11 November 1798: 'Girtin drew the outlines and Turner washed in the effects'. There were a number of other young artists who frequented Dr Monro's house such as John Sell Cotman, William Henry Hunt and John Laporte.
In the second watercolour, Sunlight on a river valley, the pencil work would appear to be by Girtin, however the wash does not appear to have been applied by Turner.
We are grateful to Andrew Wilton for his help in preparing this catalogue entry.