About this artwork

Girtin depicted the village from a high viewpoint, the site of Jedburgh's former castle. He omitted the famous ruined Abbey, which lies to the right, drawing attention instead to the curved broad street, which leads the eye to the distant river valley. Girtin recorded the gentle afternoon light illuminating the modest thatched cottages and the plumes of smoke from their chimneys in the still air. The restrained hues enhance the tranquil atmosphere of the scene. This watercolour was based on a pencil drawing Girtin made during a brief visit to the Scottish Borders in 1796.

  • title: The Village of Jedburgh, Roxburgh
  • accession number: D 5175
  • artist: Thomas GirtinEnglish (1775 - 1802)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Work on paper
  • subject: Topographical Rivers
  • medium: Watercolour
  • date created: 1800
  • measurements: 30.20 x 52.10 cm (framed: 66.70 x 54.00 x 2.50 cm)
  • credit line: Purchased with the aid of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund and the Pilgrim Trust 1988
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Thomas Girtin

Thomas Girtin

Girtin's beautiful landscape paintings in watercolour helped raise the profile of such subjects and his chosen medium during his short life. His remarkable talents were acknowledged by his friend and exact contemporary Turner. Both were students at Dr Monro's informal evening academy, where they produced copies of landscape prints and topographical studies. Together they explored the potential of watercolour which they showed could rival oil painting in its visual impact and atmospheric range. Girtin made sketching tours around Britain and visited Paris. His most ambitious work, a lost panorama of London, is known from sketches in the British Museum, London.