Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Castello Madamo
Pencil, pen and ink, watercolour
  • image width 216mm,
  • image length 267mm
  • sheet, verso
  • “Castello Madamo” in black ink over pencil, “April 22nd 1781 No1 Light from the right hand” in grey ink, and “Francis Towne” in brown ink
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 (BP4). Judith Merivale sold it to Emily Norrie (perhaps 1891–1973) of Pequot Avenue, New London, Connecticut, for £10 in August 1933. On 21 April 1971 it was sold at Parke Benet in New York, lot 182, for $350 to Agnew’s (no.0593), who sold it on 1 January 1973 to a collector. In 1984 it was given anonymously to the present owner, Rhode Island School of Design (84.203.10).

Associated People & Organisations

Rhode Island Museum of Art, School of Design, Providence, 1898, 84.203.10
Thomas Agnew & Sons, New York, 21 April 1971, USD 350, no.0593
Parke Benet Galleries, New York, 21 April 1971, lot 182
Emily Norrie (1891 - 1973), August 1933, GBP 10
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP4
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP4
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
100th Annual Exhibition of Watercolours and Drawings, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1973


This is probably a morning view, with the sun coming over the hill at the far right, just above and to the right of the hill town, and hitting the big expanse of rock or low hill in the left foreground. Towne’s washes are very spare—a grey/brown, blue, and yellow.

by Richard Stephens

Revisions & Feedback

The website will be updated from time to time and, when changes are made, a PDF of the previous version of each page will be archived here for consultation and citation.

Please help us to improve this catalogue

If you have information, a correction or any other suggestions to improve this catalogue, please contact us.