Traditionally regarded as one of the very last works of Girtin's tragically short career, this is also one of the best preserved and most emotionally intense.

Focusing upon Morpeth Bridge, silhouetted against a starkly lit building, the artist creates an air of tragedy through the deep shadows that engulf the surrounding buildings and by the oppressive sky. Neither the figures nor animals on the bank, nor the man watering his horses in the River Wansbeck alleviate the ominous mood, which owes much to Rembrandt - an artist Girtin especially admired late in his life. Morpeth was not a picturesque town and was known in Girtin's day only for its castle and a few ruins on a nearby hill. Through the brooding hues and dramatic contrasts of light and shade in this highly charged work, Girtin makes it a subject of the most profound feeling.


William Wells; C.S.Bale; E.Cohen; E.Poulter; F.W.Keen; Norman D.Newall; Christie's.

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