Object Image

St. Paul's Cathedral from St. Martin's-le-Grand

In this vibrant rendering of a bustling London street, Girtin combines lively detail with loose passages of generalized brushwork. The work stands at the midpoint of the artist's tragically short career, balanced between his early achievements as a topographical watercolorist and the masterly abstracted landscapes to come. Working outdoors, in the street where he lived, the twenty-year old artist laid in the perspective in graphite. He then added shadows in gray wash, and finally applied layers of color, together with the figures and details. The foreground is characterized by a dramatic shift from deep shadow, at left, to red brick facades glowing in the late afternoon sun, at right. Wren's ma ...
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c. 1795
Watercolor, pen, black ink over graphite
48.8 x 37.8cm
Image and text © Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019

Where you'll find this

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Permanent collection