Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Christ Church, Oxford
Pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour
  • image height 176mm,
  • image width 262mm
  • sheet, verso
  • “No.2 / Christ Church Oxford August 25. 1813 / Francis Towne Delt 2 o Clock”
Part of
  • 1813 Sketchbook
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 (1745–1844) 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 as part of a sketchbook containing 752 to 764, which they sold in 1927 to Walker’s Galleries for £60. In 1928 Augustus Walker (1866/67–1965) gave the drawing to the present owner, the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (DBB.1826).

Associated People & Organisations

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 1928, DBB.1826
Augustus Walker (1866/67 - 1965), 1928
Walker's Galleries, London, 1927, GBP 60
Within a sketchbook containing FT752 to FT764.
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
24th Annual Exhibition of Early English Watercolours, Walker's Galleries, 1928, no. 76
David Blaney Brown, Ashmolean Museum Catalogue of Drawings Vol 4: Earlier English Drawings, Clarendon: Oxford, 1982, p. 630
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 130


This is a view of the spire of Christ Church Cathedral from Christ Church Meadow. Towne’s inscription that he made this drawing at 2:00 pm overlaps with his view of Worcester College (FT752), which he inscribed “from 1 o Clock till 3”. The two sites are about ten minutes’ walk from one another.

by Richard Stephens

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