Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • A Study after Nature in Peamore Park near Exeter
  • Trees in Peamore Park, near Exeter, Devon
  • Trees and Branches
  • Peamore, Trees and Sunset
Pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour
  • image width 369mm,
  • image length 268mm
two sheets of paper
mounted by the artist on paper watermarked "J WHATMAN 1794"
  • sheet, recto, left
  • “sunshine”
  • in pencil
  • artist's mount, verso
  • “A Study after nature in / Peamore Park near Exeter / drawn on the Spot by / Francis Towne / [“1804” scratched out]”
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; Museum records (image)


Bequeathed by the artist in 1816 to James White of Exeter (1744–1825), on whose death it passed to Towne’s residuary legatee John Herman Merivale (1779–1844) and his successors. Merivale’s granddaughters Maria Sophia Merivale (1853–1928) and Judith Ann Merivale (1860–1945), both of Oxford, inherited the drawing in May 1915 (BP247). In January 1936 Judith Merivale sold it for £26 to Squire Gallery. Possibly it was purchased from Milling by the Fine Art Society, as it was sold by them on 10 June 1936 for £36 15s. to R. Skinner. It was certainly acquired by Margaret Pilkington (1891–1974) in or before 1938, however, as then she gave it to the present owner, the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester (D.4.1938/1721).

Associated People & Organisations

Manchester Museum & the Whitworth, University of Manchester, Manchester, 1938, D.4.1938/1721
Mrs Pilkington, 1938
R. Skinner, 10 June 1936, GBP 36.15s
The Fine Art Society, London, London, June 1936
[?] Horace Bernard Milling (1898 - 1954), 1936
Squire Gallery, January 1936, GBP 26
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP247
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP247
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
[?] Exhibition of Original Drawings at the Gallery, No.20 Lower Brook Street, Grosvenor Square, 20 Lower Brook Street, 1805, no. 12, 13 or 14 as 'By the ditto [Quarry] in ditto [Peamore Park]'
[?] Annual Water Colour Exhibition 1926, The Judge's Lodgings, Winchester, 1926, no. 126 as 'Peamore, Trees and Sunset'; or 139 as 'Peamore Trees'
[?] An Exhibition of Early English Water-Colour Drawings, Fine Art Society, 1936, no. 25 as 'Trees and Branches, 1804 Ex Merivale'
Whitworth Watercolours, Arts Council, 1948, no. 7
British Painting from Hogarth to Turner 1730-1850, British Council, 1949, no. 94
Loan Exhibition of Water Colour Drawings from the Whitworth Art Gallery Manchester in Aid of the Funds of the Gallery, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1954, no. 119
English Watercolours and Drawings 1740 to 1840, City Art Gallery, 1956, no. 16
A Loan Exhibition of English Drawings from the Whitworth Art Gallery, Colnaghi, 1967, no. 50
English Watercolours of the 18th and 19th Centuries from the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, Musee d'art moderne, 1973, no. 87
English Watercolours of the 18th and 19th Centuries from the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, Hermitage Museum, 1974, no. 73
New York Public Library and tour, William Wordsworth and the Age of English Romanticism, New York Public Library and tour, 1987, no. 187
Francis Towne, Tate Gallery; Leeds City Art Gallery, 24 June 1997 - 4 January 1998, no. 66
Paul Oppé, 'Francis Towne, Landscape Painter', The Walpole Society: London, 1920, p. 125
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 31


Wilcox considered that this sketch, made

in the summer before Towne’s momentous decision to put all his drawings on public display, demonstrates a technical control and a depth of response to nature as intense and as poetic as anything in his earlier work. It would seem fully to justify his belief in his own powers as a watercolourist.1

by Richard Stephens


  1. 1 Wilcox 1997, pp.138–39.

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