Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Landscape, perhaps of Ugbrooke
ca. 1770 - 1777
Pencil, pen and grey ink, grey wash
  • image width 273mm,
  • image length 425mm
  • sheet, verso
  • "Ugbrooke" (?) and numbered either "42" or "59"
Object Type
Monochrome wash

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Notebooks and papers of Paul Oppé (1878-1957), private collection

Barton Place catalogue, archives of Thomas Agnew & Sons

Information at Christie's, London


This drawing was sold at Christie’s on 30 March 1993, lot 48, as an unidentified drawing with a Merivale provenance, whereafter it is untraced. If the Merivale provenance is correct, then the drawing is likely to be BP 174 or 175, because no other drawings from the early to mid-1770s exist in the Barton Place catalogue that are not already accounted for or are not discounted by their descriptions in Paul Oppé’s notes (see below). BP174 and 175 were bequeathed by the artist in 1816 to James White of Exeter (1744–1825), on whose death they reverted 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 drawings in May 1915, and Judith Merivale sold them both on 28 January 1937 to Agnew’s for £30 with FT042, FT062, FT287, FT379, and FT438. BP174 was bought by Mrs Christopher Harris on 1 July 1937 (Agnew’s no.2285) for £10 10s, and BP175 by Lady Mary Dormer (d.1973) on 4 March 1941 (Agnew’s no.2287), also for £10 10s. See also the Comment at FT036.

Associated People & Organisations

Christie's, London, London, 30 March 1993, lot 48
listed as an unidentified drawing with a Merivale provenance
[?] Lady Mary Alice Clare Dormer (1888 - 1973), 4 March 1941, GBP 10.10s, BP175
[?] Mrs Christopher Harris, London, 1 July 1937, GBP 10.10s, BP174
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 28 January 1937, GBP 30, no.2285 or no.2287
Acquired with FT042, FT062, FT287, FT379, FT438
[?] Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP 174 or 175
[?] Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP 174 or 175
[?] John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
[?] James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
[?] Annual Exhibition of Water-Colour & Pencil Drawings, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1937, no. 128
[?] 67th Annual Exhibition of Water-Colour and Pencil Drawings, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1940, no. 131
[?] Fourteen British Painters, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1941, no. 45


This drawing is clearly a fairly early work, whose pen work is comparable to the Powderham study ca. 1774 (FT042). The foreground tree can also be compared to the one at the far left of the 1774/75 Ugbrooke landscape (FT053).

Paul Oppé saw two drawings, BP174 and 175, of which this work may be one. Oppé made brief notes of both works:

172. 42 Ugbrooke. Much same size [as FT036, FT043, FT044]. Fleur de lys GR paper – fold (subsequent) Big tree, fine foreground foliage. Road winding thro fields into trees – Definite but still intelligent outline, rather crinkly & ind ink wash. (In main mass, outline for each tree Foregrd tree fully & well drawn. Each clump of leaves outlined not as in 171. More water colouring.

The note for BP175 reads:

175. 59 Ugbrooke. same size [as FT036, FT043, FT044] Whatman rather[?] thicker – fold (subsequent) Winding Path thro’ meadow & trees. fine foliage of undergrowth foregrd. Very full fine foliage outline thro’out all trees. Light ind ink wash. Composition of clumps of trees.1

Both descriptions fit with the image of this drawing, whose size is also compatible, though the description of BP174 seems somewhat the closer to the image. On this basis this landscape is identified here as an Ugbrooke study, numbered by Towne either 42 or 59. The other study, perhaps BP174, is unknown but is on paper measuring 273 x 425 mm and watermarked either “GR” or “WHATMAN”. It is here catalogued as FT039. These two drawings may form part of the numbered series that included FT036.

by Richard Stephens


  1. 1 Paul Oppé records: notes, ca. 1915.

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