Monday, 22 February 2021

Francis Towne - part 4

 Francis Towne (1739 - 1816) was born in Isleworth, Middlesex. In 1752 he was apprenticed to a leading coach painter in London, Thomas Brookshead. In 1759 he won a design prize from the Society of Arts, and studied for a while at St Martin’s Lane Academy. .In 1763 Towne was employed by a coach painter called Thomas Watson in Long Acre, and went to Exeter on business, where he soon settled. He had already begun painting in oils and also taught drawing, and now he began to accept commissions from wealthy families in Devon. After a tour of north Wales in 1777 he began to specialise in watercolours.

He remained an obscure figure until the early 20th century, so that the collector Paul Oppé was able to acquire numbers of important works very cheaply. Oppé was greatly impressed, especially with Towne's elegant and somewhat stylised early manner, which chimed with trends in English painting at the time, "the taste of our own century for flat colourful pattern-making", as Andrew Wilton put it in 1993. After making contact with descendants of Towne's student and friend, John Herman Merivale, Oppé discovered a collection of largely unseen works which Towne had bequeathed to Merivale. He catalogued the works and published an article about the artist in a 1919 volume of the Walpole Society journal. These writings helped to create a revival of interest in Towne, and more works began to appear on the market. By the 1950s he was widely recognised as an important figure and his works were owned by many museums, especially the British Museum and the Yale Centre for British Art. A  catalogue raisonné of the artist's work is published by the Paul Mellon Centra for Studies in British Art.


For more information on Towne’s life and works see part 1. 

For earlier works see parts 1 - 3 also.


This is part 4 of 10 part series on the works of Francis Towne:


1781 Lake Maggiore
pen and brown ink, watercolour 15.5 x 21 cm

1781 Lake Nemi
pencil, pen and black ink, watercolour 39.5 x 50.9 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 Le Rêve at the Head of Lake Como (Lago di Mezzola)
pencil, pen and brown and grey inks, watercolour
 15.6 x 21.2 cm
Tate, London

1781 Monastery of Sant’Antonio, Tivoli
pencil, pen and ink, grey wash 37.5 x 24.7 cm
Private Collection

1781 Monte Porzio Catone from the Park of the Villa Mondragone at Frascati
pencil, pen and black ink, watercolour 38.6 x 49.8 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 Mount Vesuvius
pencil, pen and grey ink, grey and blue washes 32.4 x 49.1 cm
Scottish National Gallery

1781 Naples
pencil, pen and black ink, watercolour, scratching out
32 x 46.8 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 Naples
pencil, pen and grey and black inks, watercolour, scratching out 33 x 23.7 cm
Birmingham Museums Trust, UK

1781 Naples
pencil, pen and grey ink, grey and grey-brown washes
32.6 x 47 cm
Art Institute of Chicago, IL

1781 Naples
pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour, scratching out
 32.2 x 23.3 cm
Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven, CT

1781 Near Glarus
pencil, pen and brown ink, grey-brown wash 46.5 x 28.4 cm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

1781 Near Mount Splugen
pencil, pen and brown and grey inks, grey wash 21 x 15.5 cm
Tate, London

1781 Near Rocca di Papa
pencil, pen and black and brown inks, grey wash
 31.4 x 21.3 cm

1781 Near Rocca di Papa
pencil, pen and brown ink, grey wash 24.8 x 19.4 cm

1781 Near Rocca di Papa
pencil, pen and grey ink, grey and blue washes 39.1 x 25.4 cm
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT

1781 Near Rocca di Papa
pencil, pen and grey ink, grey and blue washes 40.2 x 25 cm
Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, UK



1781 Near the Arco Oscuro
pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour and gum 22.7 x 32.2 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 Neptune's Grotto, Tivoli
watercolour 39.7 x 51.2 cm
Tate, London

1781 On Lake Como
pen and brown and grey inks, watercolour, scratching out 15.6 x 21.3 cm
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT

1781 On the Lake of Lugano
pencil, pen and brown and grey inks, grey wash 15.4 x 21 cm
Tate, London

1781 On the Palatine Hill
pencil, pen and black ink, watercolour 31.4 x 47 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 On the Palatine Hill
pencil, pen and black ink, watercolour with gum 31.9 x 47.1 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 On the side of the Rhine near the Source 
pen and grey ink, grey and blue washes 28.9 x 45.7 cm
Private Collection

1781 On the side of the Rhine near the Source
pencil, pen and grey ink, brown, grey, and blue washes
28.6 x 29.4 cm 
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT

1781 Pantenbruck
pencil, pen and grey ink, grey wash 27.9 x 45.7 cm
Williamson Art Gallery & Museum, Birkenhead; Wirral Museums, UK

1781 Pantenbruck
pencil, pen and grey ink, grey wash, scratching out
 46.5 x 28.5 cm 
Leeds Museums and Galleries (Leeds Art Gallery), UK

1781 Part of the Baths of Titus
pencil and watercolour 32.6 x 47.4 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 Ponte Molle
pencil, pen and brown ink, watercolour with gum 32.3 x 47.6 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 Rocks and Trees at Tivoli
pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour 39.8 x 51.3 cm
Tate, London

1781 Roman Ruins, Baia
pen and grey ink, grey-brown wash 30.5 x 46.4 cm
Museums Sheffield, UK

1781 Santa Maria a Monte
pencil, pen and grey ink, grey-brown and blue washes
31.8 x 45.7 cm
 Private Collection

1781 St Maria Nuova with the Temple of Venus and Rome
pencil, pen and black ink, watercolour 31.7 x 32.7 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 St Peter’s from above the Arco Oscuro
pencil, pen and black and brown ink, watercolour and gum 32.1 x 46.7 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 The Arch of Septimus Severus
pencil, pen and black ink, watercolour 32.2 x 71.9 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 The Banks of the Tiber
pencil and black, brown and grey inks, watercolour with gum 45.3 x 31.8 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 The Baths of Caracalla
pencil, pen and black ink, watercolour 32.4 x 47.7 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 The Baths of Caracalla
pencil, pen and black ink, watercolour 32.5 x 50.4 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 The Baths of Caracalla
pencil, pen and black ink, watercolour 32.6 x 47.7 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 The Baths of Caracalla
pencil, pen and brown ink, grey/brown wash 47.4 x 32 cm
Leeds Museums and Galleries (Leeds Art Gallery), UK

1781 The Bay of Naples
pencil, pen and grey-brown ink, grey-brown wash 32 x 46.7 cm
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK

1781 The Claudian Aqueduct
pencil, pen and black ink, watercolour 32.4 x 47.2 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 The Forum
pencil, pen and black and brown inks, watercolour with gum 32.4 x 59.1 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 The Frascati Hills
pencil, pen and brown ink, watercolour with gum 20.6 x 27 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 The Grand Cascade, Tivoli
pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour 50.4 x 38.9 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 The Grotto of Posillipo
pencil, pen and black ink, watercolour 32.2 x 74.2 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 The Old Wall of Rome at the back of the Villa Medici
pencil, pen and black ink, watercolour, gum 31.9 x 47.4 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 The Palatine Hill
pencil and watercolour 31.9 x 47.3 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 The Palatine Hill
pencil, pen and black ink, watercolour 32.8 x 47.3 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 The Source of the Arveyron
pencil, pen and brown and blue inks, watercolour, scratching out 42.5 x 31 cm

1781 The Tarpeian Rock
pencil, pen and black ink, watercolour with gum 40.7 x 47 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 The Temple of Concord
pencil, pen and black ink, watercolour with gum 32.1 x 47.4 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 The Temple of Minerva Medica
pencil, pen and black ink, watercolour with gum 31.5 x 37.2 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 The Temple of Romulu
pencil, pen and black and grey inks, watercolour with gum 35.2 x 32.1 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 The Temple of Vesta and the Temple of Fortuna Virilis
pencil, pen and black ink, watercolour 38.8 x 31.8 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 The Tomb of the Plautii
pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour, gum 19 x 24.5 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 The Villa of Maecenas, Tivoli
pencil, pen and black ink, watercolour 50.1 x 38.2 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 Thirteen Miles on the Road from Rome to Tivoli
pencil, pen and ink, grey wash 24.3 x 37.4 cm
Private Collection

1781 Tivoli above the Fall of the Anio
pencil, pen and black and grey inks, watercolour with gum, scratching out 30.2 x 49.5 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 Tivoli
watercolour with gum 24.8 x 39.3 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 Tivoli
pen and black ink, and watercolour 36.8 x 49.5 cm
Art Institute of Chicago, IL

1781 Tivoli
pen and ink, wash 22.2 x 31.8 cm
Private Collection


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