Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Near Mount Splugen
Pencil, pen and brown and grey inks, grey wash
  • image width 210mm,
  • image length 155mm
the paper with bookbinding marks along the left edge
  • sheet, verso
  • “light from the left hand / Near mount Splugen / August 29th. 1781 / No.37 / Francis Towne”
  • in brown ink over pencil until “1781”, brown ink only thereafter; also brown ink lines indicating the edge of a mountain and sunlight
Object Type
Monochrome wash

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; Museum 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 (BP63). In November 1935 Judith Merivale sold it to Paul Oppé (1878–1957; no.2113) for £15 with five other drawings (FT306, FT332, FT335, FT336, FT350). His descendants sold it in 1996 with the rest of Oppé’s collection to the present owner, the Tate Gallery (T08571).

Associated People & Organisations

Tate, London, 1996, T08571
Adolph Paul Oppé (1878 - 1957), London, November 1935, GBP 15, no.2113
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP63
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP63
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
76th Annual Exhibition of Water-Colour Drawings, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1949, no. 8
Francis Towne, Tate Gallery; Leeds City Art Gallery, 24 June 1997 - 4 January 1998, no. 37
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 147


watercolour on paper, 34.8 × 51.3 cm

John White Abbott copied this drawing (FT827). Towne made two drawings of this subject (also FT327). Of the two, this is closer to John “Warwick” Smith’s version.

In error, Bury listed two apparently identical drawings in his checklist where only one exists.

by Richard Stephens

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