Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • A View taken at Ambleside at the Head of Lake Windermere
  • Ambleside at the head of Windermere
Pencil, pen and brown ink, watercolour
  • image width 237mm,
  • image length 157mm
mounted by the artist
  • sheet, recto, lower left
  • “No.9” and lower right: “F.Towne. delt / 1786”
  • artist's mount, verso
  • “9 / A View taken at Ambleside at the head of the Lake of Windermere in Westmoreland 1786 London Leicester Square 1786”
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; Wilcox 1997 (image)


This drawing was owned by Francis Alexander Gustavus Skardon Douglas (active 1927, d.1957;), a descendant of John White Abbott, who sold it on 3 September 1946 to Agnew’s (no.4752), where on 21 January 1947 it was bought for £60 by Joseph Hawkesley Elliott of Sheffield (1884–1978), whose daughter sold it at Christie’s on 14 March 1978, lot 77, for £4,800 to Leger Galleries, where it was exhibited in 1978 and was acquired by Dr Marc Fitch (1908–1994) before 1987. His collection was acquired by Leger Galleries, ca. 1987, and the drawing was in a “private collection” in 1997. It was offered for sale by Lowell Libson in 2012.

Associated People & Organisations

Private Collection
Lowell Libson, London, 2012
Private Collection, 1997
Leger Galleries, London, 1987
Dr Marc Fitch (1908 - 1994)
Acquired prior to 1987
Leger Galleries, London, 14 March 1978, GBP 4800
Christie's, London, London, 14 March 1978, lot 77
Joseph Hawksley Elliot (1884 - 1978), 21 January 1947, GBP 60
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 3 September 1946, no.4752
Francis Alexander Gustavus Skardon Douglas (active 1927 - 1957)
John White Abbott (1763 - 1851)
Exhibition History
Exhibition of Original Drawings at the Gallery, No.20 Lower Brook Street, Grosvenor Square, 20 Lower Brook Street, 1805, no. 60, as Ambleside at the head of Windermere
English Watercolours, Leger Galleries, 1978, no. 7
Exhibition of English Watercolours, Leger Galleries, 1987
The Fitch Collection A Record of the Major English Watercolours and Drawings Collected by Dr Marc Fitch, Leger Galleries, 1988, no. 2
Francis Towne, Tate Gallery; Leeds City Art Gallery, 24 June 1997 - 4 January 1998, no. 48


Towne has given Ambleside an Italianate flavour in this drawing, with the tall pines and Gaspar Dughet-like mountain backdrop, which is comparable to the morning view in FT467. If the mountain here can be identified with the one shown in FT467, it locates this drawing on the western, southern, or south-western fringes of Ambleside, looking west above the head of Windermere. As Wilcox noted, this drawing was mounted soon after it was made.

by Richard Stephens

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