Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • A View of Derwent Water and Skiddaw
  • A View of Keswick Lake
ca. 1786/08
Pencil, pen and grey and brown inks, watercolour, scratching out, gum
  • image width 212mm,
  • image length 667mm
two sheets
mounted by the artist
  • sheet, recto, lower right
  • “Keswick Lake F.Towne delt. / 1786”
  • the signature in brown ink, otherwise black ink
  • artist's mount, verso
  • “A View of Keswick Lake and Skiddaw / Cumberland / drawn by Francis Towne / 1786”
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 (BP152, Keswick Lake & Skiddaw). On 5 May 1924 they sold it to Agnews (no.10471) for £35 for onward sale (on 3 May according to Agnew’s) for £52 to Norman Darnton Lupton (1875–1953) of Hyde Crook, Dorchester, Dorset. Agnes Lupton (1874–1950) and Norman Lupton bequeathed it to the current owner, Leeds City Art Gallery (5.224/52).

Associated People & Organisations

Leeds City Art Gallery, Leeds, 1953, 5.224/52
Norman Darnton Lupton (1875 - 1953), Dorchester, 3 May 1924, GBP 52
Agnes Lupton (1874 - 1950), Dorchester, 3 May 1924, GBP 52
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 5 May 1924, GBP 35, no.10471
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP152
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP152
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. 74 as 'A View of Keswick Lake'
Early English Water Colours, Leeds City Art Gallery, 8 October 1958 to 23 November 1958, no. 101
The Lupton Collection, Leeds City Art Gallery, 1972, no. 72
British Watercolours 1760-1930 from the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Arts Council of Great Britain, 1980, no. 95
The Discovery of the Lake District, Victoria & Albert Museum, 1984, no. 94
Derwentwater: Vale of Elysium, Wordsworth Museum, 1986, no. 97
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, pp. 45, 103, 132
Leeds City Art Gallery, Leeds Art Calendar, No. 26: Leeds, 1954, p. 11
Timothy Wilcox, Francis Towne, Tate Publishing: London, 1997, p. 127


This is a view from the southern end of the lake, looking north to Skiddaw. The house at bottom left is identified in the museum’s notes as the inn at Lodore. 

This drawing shows signs of having been worked on later than 1786. At the right edge the broody sky is reminiscent of a Tivoli watercolour dated 1789 (FT256). Elsewhere, the shaded areas of woodland and rock have been emphasised in a dark ink applied with a brush. At the left the brush hatchings that make up the foliage of the light-coloured tree are typical of Towne’s studio watercolours of the later 1780s and 1790s.

by Richard Stephens

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