be ascribed also the completion, if not the entire execution, of a panorama of London (one of the first of its kind), which was taken from the top of the Albion Mills, on the south side of Blackfriars Bridge. It was on exhibition in Castle Street, Leicester Square, at the time of his death, and afterwards at the exhibition-room in Spring Gardens. It was then bought and sent to St. Petersburg. Girtin did not cease working till within eight days of his death, which took place at his lodgings in the Strand on 9 Nov. 1802. He left a widow and an infant son, and was buried in the churchyard of St. Paul's, Covent Garden. His funeral was attended by his brother artists, Sir William Beechey, Edridge, Hearne, and Turner, and a flat stone was laid over his grave.
Girtin was the true founder of the modern practice of ‘painting’ as distinguished from ‘tinting’ in water-colours. The difference is described by a contemporary, W. H. Pyne [q. v.], as follows: ‘This artist prepared his drawing on the same principle which had hitherto been confined to painting in oil, namely, laying in the object upon his paper with the local colour, and shadowing the same with the individual tint of its own shadow. Previous to the practice of Turner and Girtin drawings were shadowed first entirely through, whatever their component parts—houses, cattle, trees, mountains, foregrounds, middle-grounds, and distances—all with black or grey, and these objects were afterwards stained or tinted, enriched and finished, as is now  the custom to colour prints. It was this new practice, introduced by these distinguished artists, that acquired for designs in water-colours upon paper the title of paintings.’ This change of practice was accompanied by many changes in manipulation. He used a large and full brush, and a paper rougher, more absorbent, and of a warmer tone than had been previously employed. It was a cartridge paper, bought of a stationer at Charing Cross, with slight wire marks and folded. It can be recognised now by the line of the fold, which often greatly mars the beauty of his drawings by a row of unseemly spots down the very centre of them.
Girtin was distinguished by the breadth and simplicity of his style, by the depth and harmony of his colour, by the bold distribution of his masses, whether of form or light, by the solemnity and serenity of his sentiment, seen equally in the treatment of pure landscape and of architecture. He seized at once the general character of a scene, and by a truthful and happy generalisation conveyed his impression of it without hesitation or loss of freshness. In execution he was rapid and masterly. ‘It was a great treat to see Girtin at his studies,’ says one writer, who proceeds to describe his extraordinary facility; another speaks of ‘the swordplay of his pencil;’ and his drawings, from their mere technical dexterity, are still the admiration of artists. By increasing the range of atmospheric effect in painted landscape, by the purity and force of his artistic gift, by his feeling of natural poetry, and in many other ways, he has exercised a vast and noble influence on modern landscape-painting. This influence has been indirect, through the works of his great contemporary Turner, and those of such followers as Cotman, Francia, Bonington, and De Wint, but it has not been less true on that account. ‘Had Tom Girtin lived, I should have starved,’ said Turner, and Mr. Ruskin has written of his work: ‘He is often as impressive to me as Nature herself; nor do I doubt that Turner owed more to his teaching and companionship than to his own genius in the first years of his life.’ Most of Girtin's finest drawings are in private hands, but by the bequests of Mr. Chambers Hall in 1855, and of Mr. Henderson in 1878, the British Museum possesses many interesting examples of his work, and one large and magnificent drawing of Bridgenorth. There are also some good drawings of his at South Kensington.
Several portraits of Girtin's handsome face are in existence, one in oils by Opie, now in the possession of his grandson, which has been engraved in mezzotint. His friend Edridge drew him several times; one of the sketches and a finished drawing are in the British Museum. George Dance the younger [q. v.] executed a lithograph portrait of him, and also included him in his book of portraits engraved by William Daniell, A.R.A.
[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists, 1878; Bryan's Dict. of Artists (Graves); Dayes's Works; Edwards's Anecdotes; Library of the Fine Arts, vol. iii.; Somerset House Gazette; Gent. Mag. 1802, 1803; Chalmers's Dict.; Miller's Turner and Girtin's Picturesque Views; Thornbury's Life of Turner; Monkhouse's Turner; Portfolio, April and May 1888; Cat. of National Gallery at South Kensington; Wedmore's Studies in English Art; Liber Fluviorum; Rivers of England; Catalogues of Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1871, 1875, 1884; Leslie's Handbook for Young Painters; Dance's Portraits.]
GISA or GISO, sometimes called Gila (d. 1088), bishop of Wells, a native of Saint Trudo in Hasbain, in the diocese of Liège, was one of the chaplains or clerks of the chancery of Eadward the Confessor (on these