Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Skelwith Force and Lingmoor Fell
Pencil, pen and ink, watercolour
  • image width 267mm,
  • image length 375mm
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
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. Quite feasibly it is BP156, “all Italian paper none [i.e. no date, no number]”, sold to Squire Gallery in February 1935 for £14. By June 1935 it was on sale at the Fine Art Society (which often snapped up the Squire Gallery’s Merivale acquisitions), where on 2 August 1938 it was purchased for £25 by James Leslie Wright of Warwick (1862–1954), who bequeathed it to the current owner, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (P.399, 53), although under the terms of his bequest the drawing remained in the custody of his family. The museum’s records state that the drawing has a Merivale provenance.

Associated People & Organisations

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, 1954, P.399, 53
James Leslie Wright (1862 - 1953), Warwick, 2 August 1938, GBP 25
The Fine Art Society, London, London, June 1935
Squire Gallery, London, 1935, GBP 14
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
An Exhibition of Early English Water-Colour Drawings, Fine Art Society, 1935, no. 44 as 'Mountain Scene Ex Merivale'
Exhibition of Early English Water-colours from the Collection of J.Leslie Wright Esq. and Walter Turner Esq., City Art Gallery, 1938, no. 37
Exhibition of Masters of British Water-Colour (17th-19th Centuries) The J. Leslie Wright Collection, Royal Academy, 1949, no. 137
Three Exeter Artists of the Eighteenth Century: Francis Hayman RA, Francis Towne, John White Abbott, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, 1951, no. 51


This is a view of Skelwith Force, with the peak of Lingmoor Fell showing through the trees at centre right.

Towne’s fingerprint is visible at the bottom-right corner of the sheet.

by Richard Stephens

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