Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Landscape Composition
Pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour
  • image height 138mm,
  • image length 190mm
on paper watermarked with an ornamented post horn and the name “LV GEREVUINK” made by the descendants of Lubertus van Gerrevink of Phoenix Mill, Alkemaar, Holland
  • sheet, recto, lower right
  • “Francis Towne / delt [indistinct date scratched out]”
  • in black ink over earlier grey ink
  • artist's mount, verso
  • “No 1 Francis Towne delt / [squiggle, possibly a number] / Saville House No.5 / Leicester Square / London”
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; Bower 1998; Museum records (image)


Untraced until sold anonymously at Foster’s on 27 July 1910, lot 151 (a group with FT228, FT257, FT283, FT284, FT296, FT310, FT318, FT319, FT325, FT326, FT327, FT329, FT330, FT339, FT340, FT361, FT793, and a drawing by an unidentified pupil) for 25s. to Paul Oppé (1878–1957; no.43), whose descendants sold it in 1996 with the rest of Oppé’s collection to the current owner, the Tate Gallery (T08568).

Associated People & Organisations

Tate, London, 1996, T08568
Adolph Paul Oppé (1878 - 1957), London, 27 July 1910, GBP 25s, no.43
Foster's auctioneers (1883 - 1940), 27 July 1910, lot 151
Sold as a group with FT228, FT257, FT283, FT284, FT296, FT310, FT318, FT319, FT325, FT326, FT327, FT329, FT330, FT339, FT340, FT361, FT793 and a drawing by an unidentified pupil.
Exhibition History
76th Annual Exhibition of Water-Colour Drawings, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1949, no. 26
Peter Bower, 'Drawing Paper in the 18th and 19th centuries: Papers from the Opp_ Collection, part 2', The Quarterly Journal of the British Association of Paper Historians: [?] London, 1998, p. 19


Miss Maingey copied this drawing in her album begun on 4 August 1790 (FT848), so it must pre-date that. The mount washes are similar to those used in another landscape composition dated 1788 (791). Quite a lot of the shading has been registered firstly with hatched or zigzagging pen lines before being reinforced with coloured washes—for example in the horizontal area at bottom right, which denotes what looks like a low bridge, and in the shadows on the ground directly below the foreground tree.

by Richard Stephens

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