On the occasion of the bicentenary of Thomas Girtin’s premature death, Greg Smith, an expert in the field of the history of watercolours, and Anne Lyles, collections curator at the Tate, have put together this exhibition (4 July to 29 September) of 160 works and have, along with Peter Bower and Susan Morris, written the catalogue. The exhibition includes a photographic panorama of London to suggest Girtin’s “Eidometropolis” shown in 1802, the monumental panorama that dazzled his contemporaries but which has not survived, except in a series of sketches, most of them now in the British Museum, which will also be shown. This is the first comprehensive exhibition of Girtin’s career in over 25 years and it intends to offer a new look at his achievements in the light of recent developments in the study of landscape and watercolour painting. Whatever the shifting focuses of scholarly evaluation and the reconfigurations of the canon, Girtin’s seems pretty secure.
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Thomas Girtin: the art of watercolour'