Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Bissone, on Lake Lugano
ca. 1781/08/24
Pen and brown and grey inks, watercolour
  • image width 155mm,
  • image length 210mm
mounted by the artist
  • sheet, recto
  • “F.Towne / delt 1781 No 17”
  • in brown ink
  • artist's mount, verso
  • “No 17 / Besoni on the Lake of Lugano / drawn on the Spot by / Francis Towne August 24. 1781”
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; Sotheby's records (image)


Untraced until August 1952 when “recently acquired” by E. S. Hargreaves of West Kirby, Cheshire, and in the collection of J. Pierce Higgins before 1960. On 1 July 1960 it was acquired “from a UK private individual” by Spink, where on 31 October 1960 it was purchased for £140 by Geoffrey Fenwick Jocelyn Cumberlege (1891–1979), whose wife sold it at Sotheby’s on 8 April 1998, lot 44, whereafter it is untraced. The Art Sales Index records the sale at Christie’s on 11 November 1958, lot 147, to Abbott for £110 of Bisone on the Lake of Lugano, which is probably this drawing.

Associated People & Organisations

Sotheby's, London, London, 8 April 1998, lot 44
[?] Private Collection, 11 November 1958, GBP 110
The Art Sales Index records the sale to “Abbott”
[?] Christie's, London, London, 11 November 1958, lot 147
Geoffrey Fenwick Jocelyn Cumberlege (1891 - 1979), 31 October 1960, £140
It was sold by Spink
Spink & Son, London, London, 1 July 1960
J. Pierce Higgins, 1960
E. S. Hargreaves, August 1952
Exhibition History
Exhibition of Original Drawings at the Gallery, No.20 Lower Brook Street, Grosvenor Square, 20 Lower Brook Street, 1805, no. 114 or 115 as 'Besoni on the Lake of Lugano'
Timothy Wilcox, Francis Towne, Tate Publishing: London, 1997, p. 89


Bissone is a small town on the south-east border of Lake Lugano.

by Richard Stephens

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