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THOMAS GIRTIN (1775-18o2)

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Originally appearing in Volume V12, Page 51 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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THOMAS GIRTIN (1775-18o2), English painter and etcher, was the son of a well-to-do cordage maker in Southwark, London. His father died while Thomas was a child, and his widow married Mr Vaughan, a pattern-draughtsman. Girtin learnt drawing as a boy, and was apprenticed to Edward Doyes (1763-1804), the mezzotint engraver, and he soon made J. M. W. Turner's acquaintance. His architectural and topographical sketches and drawings soon established his reputation, his use of water-colour for landscapes being such as to give him the credit of having created modern water-colour painting, as opposed to mere " tinting." His etchings also were characteristic of his artistic genius. His early death from consumption (9th of November 1802) led indeed to Turner saying that " had Tom Girtin lived I should have starved." From 1794 to his death he was an exhibitor at the Royal Academy; and some fine examples of his work have been bequeathed by private owners to the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
End of Article: THOMAS GIRTIN (1775-18o2)
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