Unbound Sketches, 1810–ca. 1814

Richard Stephens

Four loose drawings are known from Towne’s final decade that seem unconnected with each other and with the six sketchbooks that are well documented from these final years. Yet three are drawn in exactly the same style as the sketchbook sheets. The fourth was a gift from the artist to his friend William Holwell Carr and shows an idealised Italianate landscape (FT656a). It is unique among all the watercolours of Towne’s last decade in being a pure watercolour with no pen line, and provides rare evidence that Towne had mastered that idiom, which had come to dominate watercolour production among the younger generation of artists now centred around the Society of Painters in Watercolour (founded in 1804).

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Article title
Unbound Sketches, 1810–ca. 1814
Richard Stephens
Article DOI
Cite as
Richard Stephens, "Unbound Sketches, 1810–ca. 1814", A Catalogue Raisonné of Francis Towne (1739-1816), (London: Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2016),

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