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Thomas Girtin: The Forgotten Painter – Biography of a Lost Artist

Thomas Girtin: The Forgotten Painter is graphic novel master Oscar Zarate's biography of the forgotten English watercolour artist who was JMW Turner's best friend and greatest rival.

Thomas Girtin: The Forgotten Painter is the latest work from master graphic novelist Oscar Zarate, a graphic novel biography of the pioneering watercolor artist who was J.M.W. Turner's best friend and greatest rival. Part historical narrative, part modern fiction, the book consists of two interlinked stories: the first focuses on the 18th-century painter Thomas Girtin and his relationship with his friend and rival J.M.W. Turner; the second tells the tale of three amateur artists in the present-day united by a shared interest in Girtin's art.

Thomas Girtin, The Forgotten Painter: Biography of a Lost Artist
"Thomas Girter: The Forgotten Painter" cover art, SelfMadeHero

Using this dual narrative to draw parallels between two eras of rapid technological advancement and socio-political turbulence, Oscar Zarate's long-awaited new graphic novel Thomas Girtin: The Forgotten Painter restores to modern eyes this unjustly forgotten figure, whose work has been almost entirely ignored despite his huge influence in British painting. At the time of his death, aged just 27, Girtin had already established himself as a pioneer and a master: his expressionist approach was a significant turning point in the British watercolour tradition. But the brevity of his career, coupled with his chosen medium (compared to oils, watercolours were a humbler and less easily exhibited form), meant that his work came to be overshadowed by that of Turner. As Turner himself famously remarked, "If Tom had lived, I should have starved."

Thomas Girtin, The Forgotten Painter: Biography of a Lost Artist
Artwork courtesy of SelfMadeHero

Oscar Zarate is an award-winning graphic novelist. His books include collaborations with Alan Moore (A Small Killing) and British comedian Alexei Sayle (Geoffrey the Tube Train and the Fat Comedian). He was the editor of It's Dark in London, where he drew Alan Moore's real epilogue to his acclaimed graphic novel From Hell, and he wrote and illustrated The Park. He collaborated with Richard Appignanesi on Dr Faustus, Hysteria, Introducing Freud and Introducing Existentialism. Born in Argentina, it was over 50 years ago that Oscar decided to visit London, where he has lived and worked ever since.

Thomas Girtin, The Forgotten Painter: Biography of a Lost Artist
"Thomas Girtin: The Forgotten Painter" interior art, SelfMadeHero

Thomas Girtin: The Forgotten Painter will be published in the UK on June 8th in the UK and June 20th in the US from SelfMadeHero.

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Adi TantimedhAbout Adi Tantimedh

Adi Tantimedh is a filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist. He wrote radio plays for the BBC Radio, “JLA: Age of Wonder” for DC Comics, “Blackshirt” for Moonstone Books, and “La Muse” for Big Head Press. Most recently, he wrote “Her Nightly Embrace”, “Her Beautiful Monster” and “Her Fugitive Heart”, a trilogy of novels featuring a British-Indian private eye published by Atria Books, a division Simon & Schuster.
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