Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Martinelli
ca. 1780 - 1781
Pencil, pen and ink, washes
  • image width 216mm,
  • image length 279mm
paper watermarked with a fleur de lis design with the letters "GR"
  • sheet, verso
  • “Martinelly” and numbered “10”
Object Type
Monochrome wash

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Author's examination of the object


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 (BP2), whereafter it is untraced (although as the Barton Place catalogue has no mention of its sale, it may well have been retained until Judith Merivale’s death). It was acquired by Lowell Libson from an auction at Stride & Sons, Chichester, in late 2010 and from its framing looked very much like it had been a Squire drawing; two other watercolours from Squire were also sold at the same auction.

Associated People & Organisations

Private Collection
Lowell Libson, London, 2010
Lowell Libson
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844)
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945)
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928)
Private Collection
Stride & Sons, Chichester
James White (1744 - 1825)
Exhibition History
unidentified exhibition, British Museum, 1934, no. 299
Laurence Binyon, Catalogue of Drawings by British Artists and Artists of Foreign Origin Working in Great Britain Preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, Trustees of the British Museum: London, 1907, p. 202
Adrian Bury, 'Some Italian Views by Francis Towne', The Connoisseur, No. VLCII: London, 1938, p. 13
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 126


Paul Oppé’s note reads: “(2) Martinelly. [. . .] trees & one house. practically all washed with dark ind ink, no sky, two washes in places, sometimes 3. Very fine line everywhere. 8½ x 11 [216 x 279 mm]. Fleur de lys & GR.”1 The Barton Place catalogue calls this “Martinelli No10”. Another drawing of Martinelli’s house is numbered 10 in the Roman series (FT180).

Martinelli was a Roman landlord whose premises north-east of Rome were known by several British artists, including John Robert Cozens and Thomas Jones. See the Comment at FT180.

by Richard Stephens


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

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