Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Alpine River
ca. 1781
Pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour with gum, scratching out
  • image width 288mm,
  • image length 468mm
mounted by the artist
  • artist's mount, verso
  • “No.2 [cut off at edge; a second digit is present, but illegible]”
  • verso
  • Bury (in 1962) wrote: “Signature F Towne is partly erased but still just legible”
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination (image); Bury 1962


Untraced until bought by Iolo Anuerin Williams (1890–1962) for £10 by 1929. It remains in a private collection.

Associated People & Organisations

Private Collection
Iolo Anuerin Williams (1890 - 1962), 1929, GBP 10
Exhibition History
[?] Exhibition of Original Drawings at the Gallery, No.20 Lower Brook Street, Grosvenor Square, 20 Lower Brook Street, 1805, no. 99 or 117 as 'Near the Source of the Rhine'
unidentified exhibition, 1929
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 149


The mount has been cut, removing almost all the inscription. The number begins with a 2 and, as drawings numbered 21 to 29 are known, this drawing is likely to be number 20 if it is part of the same series. The river subject, whose composition is similar to FT363, may well be the Hinterrhein near its source, on the basis of which it is suggested as one of the 1805 exhibits Near the Source of the Rhine.

This drawing, like number 19 in the large Swiss series (FT361), has clearly been worked on long after 1781, with the addition of colour, figures walking along the path, and the working up of atmospheric effect in the sky and river.

by Richard Stephens

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