Harewood Masterpieces: works by Turner, Girtin and Varley
14 July – 3 November 2013
As part of Harewood's season of exhibitions looking at landscape, a selection of masterpieces from its own collection.
In 1797 Beau Lascelles commissioned two young artists to paint watercolours of the House his father had recently inherited.
One was JMW Turner, just 22 years old and starting to acquire a reputation as a promising architectural draughtsman, the other his friend and colleague, Thomas Girtin.
Displayed together, the works provide a fascinating comparison of two very different interpretations of the same view of Harewood House.
Interestingly, Lascelles is said to have preferred Girtin's to Turner's which actually appears more 'Turneresque' in style than the artist's own painting.
Tragically, Girtin died shortly after he finished the commission, with Turner later remarking; “If Tom Girtin had lived, I would have starved”.
Due to conservation reasons, these works are not usually on display.