Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Francis Towne - part 5

 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 - 4 also.


This is part 5 of 10 part series on the works of Francis Towne:


1781 Tivoli
pencil, pen and grey ink, grey wash 25.3 x 19.1 cm
Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter City Council, UK

1781 Tivoli
pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour with gum 24.9 x 39.3 cm
The British Museum, London

1781 Towards the Head of Lake Como
pen and grey ink and brown inks, watercolour, scratching out 15.5 x 21.1 cm
Tate, London

1781 Town of Lugano on the Lake
pencil, pen and brown and grey inks, brown, blue, and grey washes 26.8 x 45.2 cm
Private Collection

1781 Vicovaro
pencil, pen and grey ink, grey and brown washes 23.5 x 31.1 cm
Rhode Island Museum of Art, School of Design, Providence

1781 View going from Weesen to Glarus
pencil, pen and ink, grey brown wash 28.9 x 47 cm

1781 View Near Naples
pencil, pen and grey and black inks, watercolour, scratching out 33 x 23.7 cm
Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, UK

1781 View of a Hermitage and Rocca del Papa
pencil, pen and grey ink, grey wash 24.5 x 37 cm
Private Collection

1781 Villa Mellini
pencil, pen and grey ink, grey wash 32.5 x 23 cm
Private Collection

1781-79 The Sybil’s Temple at Tivoli
pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour with gum 49.7 x 38.5 cm
The British Museum, London

1781-99 The Cascade of Terni
pencil, pen and grey and brown inks, watercolour with gum, scratching out 83.8 x 52.7 cm
The British Museum, London

c1781 A View of Lake Lugano taken from Mendrisio
pencil, pen and brown ink, grey-brown wash 27.6 x 45.4 cm

c1781 A View of Mendrisio
pencil, pen and brown ink, grey/brown wash 28.4 x 46.3 cm
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa 

c1781 A Waterfall by the Side of Lake Geneva
pencil, pen and grey ink, grey wash 21 x 15.6 cm
Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter City Council, UK

c1781 Alpine River
pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour with gum, scratching out 28.8 x 46.8 cm
Private Collection

c1781 Bissone, on Lake Lugano
pen and brown and grey inks, watercolour 15.5 x 21 cm

c1781 Bissone, on Lake Lugano
pen and brown and grey inks, watercolour 15.5 x 21.2 cm
Tate, London

c1781 Cascade of Tivoli
pencil and watercolour 55.5 x 77.9 cm
Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, UK

c1781 “Lago Torfi”, near Lugano
pencil, pen and grey ink, grey wash 27.7 x 46.6 cm 
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

c1781 Lake Como
watercolour, scratching out 15.5 x 20.9 cm

c1781 Lake Como with Monte Legnone
pen and brown ink, watercolour, scratching out 15.5 x 20.9 cm

c1781 Le Chapeau and the Aiguille du Bochard
pencil, pen and brown ink, watercolour, scratching out
15.6 x 20.9 cm
Tate, London

c1781 Looking towards Castello Madamo
pencil, pen and ink, grey, blue and brown washes
 22.9 x 31.7 cm

c1781 Madonna San Giacomo in Chiavenna
pen and grey ink, monochrome washes 27.3 x 45.7 cm

c1781 Monte Legnone, on Lake Como
pencil, pen and black ink, blue, grey and red washes
 15.5 x 21 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

c1781 Mountains on the Road from Florence
pencil, pen and brown and grey inks, watercolour, gum
15.6 x 21.1 cm
Tate, London

c1781 Near Glarus
pen and ink, grey wash 15 x 20.5 cm
Cooper Gallery, Barnsley, UK

c1781 Near Glarus
pencil, pen and grey ink, grey wash 28.8 x 46.7 cm
 Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, UK

c1781 Near the Source of the Rhine
pencil, pen and brown and grey inks, grey wash 15.6 x 20.9 cm
Tate, London

c1781 On the Rhine
pen and ink, watercolour 21 x 15.2 cm 
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

c1781 On Top of Mount Splugen
pen and brown ink, watercolour 21 x 15.5 cm
Rhode Island Museum of Art, School of Design, Providence
 

c1781 Part of the Palatine Hill
pencil and watercolour 47.1 x 32.1 cm
The British Museum, London

c1781 The Bay of Naples
pencil, pen and grey ink, grey wash 23.4 x 31.8 cm
Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, UK

c1781 The Bay of Naples
pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour 25.5 x 46.9 cm
 The British Museum, London

c1781 The Colosseum
pencil, pen and black ink, watercolour, gum 31.2 x 46.4 cm
The British Museum, London

c1781 The Island of Capri
pencil, pen and grey ink, blue and grey washes

c1781 The Other Source of the Rhine
pencil, pen and grey ink, grey wash 28.6 x 46.8 cm
 Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, UK

c1781 The Splugen Pass
pen and brown and grey inks, watercolour. scratching out 14.9 x 21.3 cm
Tate, London

c1781 The Splugen Pass
pencil, pen and brown and grey inks, watercolour, scratching out 14.7 x 21.2 cm
Tate, London

c1781 Urnersee
pencil, pen and brown and grey inks, grey wash, scratching out 15.5 x 20.9 cm
Tate, London

c1781 Walensee
pencil, pen and brown ink, grey wash 15.4 x 20.9 cm
 Tate, London

c1781 Walensee
pencil, pen and brown ink, grey wash 15.5 x 21 cm

c1781 Waterfall between Chiavenna and Mount Splugen
pencil, pen and brown/grey ink, brown/grey, green, blue, and brown washes 46.3 x 56.3 cm
Private Collection

1782 A View taken from Oatlands
pencil, pen and grey ink, grey wash 26.7 x 36.8 cm
Private Collection

1782 Landscape Composition
pen and ink 12.7 x 17.6 cm
The Huntington Library, art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

1783 A Scene at Indicknowle
pencil, pen and grey ink, sepia wash 34.3 x 24.2 cm
 Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK

1783 A Scene at Indicknowle
pencil, pen and grey ink, sepia wash 34.3 x 24.4 cm
 Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge , UK

1783 Coombe Martin
pen and grey ink, grey wash 24.5 x 34.8 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

1783 Dunkeswell Abbey
pen and black ink, watercolour, gum, on laid paper
 18.9 x 26.5 cm
Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven, CT

1783 Indicknowle
pencil, pen and grey ink, grey wash 34.5 x 24.3 cm
  Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK

1783 Landscape Composition
pen and black ink 16 x 11 cm

1783 Landscape
pencil, pen and light grey, brown and black inks 41 x 31.6 cm
The Provost and Fellows of Eton College, UK

1783 View of the Wrekin, Shropshire
pencil and watercolour 27 x 36.5 cm
Private Collection

c1783 Lynton Rocks
pen and ink, monochrome wash 22.2 x 33.7 cm
Private Collection

c1783 Much Wenlock, Shropshire, with the Ruins of the Priory Church
pen and black ink, watercolour 23 x 33 cm

c1783 On the River near Bath
pencil, pen and ink, watercolour 19.7 x 15.9 cm
Palmer Museum of Art of The Pennsylvania State University

1784 A View going from the head of Lake Como over Mount Splugen
pencil, watercolour and gum 47.3 x 56.8 cm
The Cleveland Museum of Art, UK

1784 A View of Ivy Bridge
pencil, pen and black ink, watercolour 23.2 x 34.7 cm 
Birmingham Museums Trust, UK




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