Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Domaso on Lake Como
Pencil (?), pen and grey ink, grey wash
  • image width 275mm,
  • image length 460mm
  • sheet, verso
  • “Near the head of Lake Como, / taken from Domaso. Evening / sun from the left hand. / August 27th. 1781. / No.[10]”
  • in brown ink, the writing upside down in relation to the image
Object Type
Monochrome wash

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Barton Place catalogue; Owner (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 (BP51). In 1934 Judith Merivale sold it for £8 8s. to Janet Buchanan Adam Smith (1905–1999, married in 1935 William Edward “Michael” Roberts [1902–1948] and in 1965, John Dudley Carleton [1908–1974]). It was in an English private collection in 2006.

Associated People & Organisations

Private Collection
Janet Buchanan Adam Smith (1905 - 1999), 1934, GBP 8.8s
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP51
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP51
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816


Domaso is a small town towards the north-west tip of Lake Como. It is interesting to contrast this drawing with Towne’s other view at Domaso (FT353), which was much altered by him in old age, to envisage how such a work might have looked prior to the changes.

The inscription was transcribed in the 1930s onto a label that is attached to the frame of this drawing. The label gives no number for the drawing, which is, however, numbered 10 in the Barton Place catalogue.


by Richard Stephens

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