Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Rydal Water
  • Rydal Water with the Grasmere Hills
Pencil, pen and grey and brown inks, watercolour
  • image width 232mm,
  • image length 375mm
  • recto
  • right background mountain: “redish” in pencil
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; Christie’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 (BP162, Rydal Water). They sold it on 6 March 1922 to Agnew’s (no.10121) for £70 with FT092 for onward sale (on 22 February 1922 according to Agnew’s) to Victor Rienaecker (b.1887, alive in 1963) for £35. It is thereafter untraced until it was sold at Christie’s on 6 June 2002, lot 11, for £21,510 including fees to the current owner, Wordsworth’s Cottage.

Associated People & Organisations

Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere, 6 June 2002, GBP 21510, WRD2613447
Christie's, London, London, 6 June 2002, lot 11
Victor Rienaecker (1887 - after 1963), 22 February 1922, GBP 35
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 1922, GBP 70, no.10121
Acquired with FT092
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP162
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP162
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
Exhibition of Selected Watercolour Drawings by Artists of the Early English School, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1922, no. 71


This is a view of the River Rothay near the east end of Rydal Water. The hill on the left is Loughrigg, on the right is Silver How. The Barton Place catalogue named this drawing Rydal Water on the basis almost certainly of an inscription, perhaps in pencil, that is no longer evident.

Two other drawings of Silver How made on the same paper as this are dated 8 and 11 August (FT520, FT520a).

by Richard Stephens

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