Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Landscape at 'Morrill'
Oil on canvas
  • image width 387mm,
  • image length 511mm
  • sheet, recto, lower left
  • “F.Towne / Pinxt. 1780”
Object Type
Oil painting

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; Museum records (image)


Untraced until 1932, when it was given by Captain Stanley William Sykes (d.1966) of Balls Grove, Grantchester, to the current owner, the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (1616).

Associated People & Organisations

Fitzwilliam Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 1932, 1616
Captain Stanley William Sykes ( - 1966), Grantchester
Exhibition History
Loan Exhibition of Works by Early Devon Painters Born Before the Year 1800, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, 1932, no. 10 as 'Landscape at Morrill'
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 128
Jack Weatherburn Goodison, Catalogue of Paintings, Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1977, p. 262-263
Luke Herrmann, British Landscape Painting of the 18th Century, Faber: London, 1973, p. 75


No such place as “Morrill” is known, but given its use in the title as early as 1932, it may well have a meaning that relates to the picture; perhaps Towne painted a location once known as “Moor Hill” or something similar. The scenery looks more like Wales than Devon, which is why it is not suggested as a Royal Academy exhibit of 1780, but the reasoning is no stronger than that.

The preparatory study is not known.

Captain Sykes was a collector and benefactor of the Fitzwilliam Museum, and the assumption is that he acquired, rather than inherited, this work.


by Richard Stephens

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