Albano Series, July 1781

Richard Stephens

The area of Albano south of Rome was a traditional summer retreat for Romans and its associations with Claude Lorrain gave it a very special appeal for visiting artists in the eighteenth century. Thomas Jones called his walk along the edge of Lake Albano “without doubt, the most pleasing and interesting in the Whole World”.1 In contrast to the drawings in the latter part of the Italy series, several of the Albano series are dated. Three drawings of Lake Albano by Towne are known (FT292, FT293, FT294), one drawn on 10 July and the remaining two on 12 July. A drawing of Arricia is dated 11 July (FT297) but not numbered. Towne’s stay in the area may not have been long. He was perhaps still in Rome to greet William Pars, who arrived back from Naples on 8 or 9 July,2 and after visiting Albano, Towne must have returned to Rome again as sketches there are dated 19 and 20 July (FT218, FT220; see also FT219, FT224). By 1 August he had set off with Warwick Smith on the journey northwards back to England (FT298). 


About the author

  • Independent Art Historian


  1. 1 Jones 1951, p.55.
  2. 2 Jones 1951, p.106.


Article title
Albano Series, July 1781
Richard Stephens
Article DOI
Cite as
Richard Stephens, "Albano Series, July 1781", A Catalogue Raisonné of Francis Towne (1739-1816), (London: Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2016),

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