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Thorpe Watering with the Church of St.  Andrew's

Thorpe Watering with the Church of St. Andrew's
JOHN THIRTLE (1777-1839)

Description / Expertise: As a boy John Thirtle is said to have been sent from his native Norwich to London as a frame-maker’s apprentice. He was back in Norwich by 1805, when he participated in the first exhibition of the Norwich Society of Artists; in 1806 he listed himself as ‘Miniature Painter and Drawing Master’ of St Saviour’s, Norwich. In 1812 he married J.S. Cotman’s sister-in-law; Cotman, together with Girtin and Crome, were the chief influences on Thirtle’s early work.

The village of Thorpe with the adjacent river was a favourite sketching place for Thirtle and other members of the Norwich School. On the left is St. Andrew’s Church, of which only the tower remains today, standing in the shadow of a larger church built in the 1860s. The district is now a suburb of Norwich, known as Thorpe St Andrew.

A version of this painting, in the Norwich Castle Museum, is illustrated in Marjorie Allthorpe-Guyton, John Thirtle 1777-1839. Drawings in the Norwich Castle Museum, 1977, pl. 42 (cat. no. 79). That version includes a cart with horses in the foreground, and wherries tied up beyond the fence. The catalogue notes that ‘a similar composition but without the wherries… was lent by Sir Henry Holmes to the Thirtle centenary 1939 (5)’; this may well refer to the present picture.
Medium / Signed: Watercolour over traces of pencil
Indistinctly inscribed with colour notes in the lower part of the sky at right
16.50inch wide   10.50inch high (41.91 cm wide  26.67 cm high)
Provenance Sir Henry Holmes (see note)
Stock code: VG683

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