The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY, "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection", 2017. Exh. cat., no. 160, repr.
Denison, Cara D. et al. The Thaw Collection : Master Drawings and New Acquisitions. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1994, no. 57.
Despite his untimely death at age twenty-seven, Girtin revolutionized British drawing. He embraced a more painterly style of watercolor drawing, deploying bold washes and somber coloring with dramatic compositional effects. The monochrome palette of this drawing was typical of a group of British draftsmen to which Girtin belonged in the 1790s that sought to elevate their work to the status of the epic, forming a sketching society to promote their cause. Their subjects were usually taken from a literary source or from the imagination--as was this drawing, since Girtin never traveled to Italy. -- Exhibition Label, from "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection"