Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Monastery of Sant’Antonio, Tivoli
Pencil, pen and ink, grey wash
  • image width 375mm,
  • image length 247mm
  • sheet, verso
  • “Tivoli”, numbered “28”, and dated 21 May
Object Type
Monochrome wash

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Agnew's records (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 (BP11). On 23 September 1935 (the Barton Place catalogue states January 1936) Judith Merivale sold the drawing to Agnew’s (no.1789) for £8 (where, however, it was entered as “Tivoli No.11”; see FT254). On 20? September 1935 Agnew’s sold the drawing for £12 to the wife of Sir Roger Birley (1903–1982), who sold it on 9 April 1979 back to Agnew’s (no.6575), where it was bought on 21 January 1980 by a private collector (also 249), whereafter it is untraced (the collector died in 1997).

Associated People & Organisations

Private Collection, 21 January 1980
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 9 April 1979, no.6575
Sir Roger Birley (1903 - 1982), 20 September 1935, GBP 12
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 23 September 1935, GBP 8, it was entered as “Tivoli No.11”
Barton Place catalogue states January 1936
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP11
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP11
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
107th Annual Exhibition of Watercolours and Drawings, Agnew, 1980, no. 17


This is a view of the monastery of Sant’Antonio near Tivoli, according to the inscription, “Tivoli. Convent of St. Antonio. / F.T. JWA.”, on the copy John White Abbott made of the work (FT818). The two figures on the right appear to be dressed as monks. The broader setting of the monastery is clear from a Thomas Jones drawing (fig.267a) in which the buildings are featured on the far right. Towne’s viewpoint is on a road leading to Tivoli, a little above his position at FT261 and very near FT267. The tree in the left foreground of this picture looks very similar to the one in the right foreground in FT267 and, supposing either to be a representation of an actual tree, may be the same one.

by Richard Stephens

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