Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • The Forest of Radnor and the Black Mountains
Pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour
  • image width 171mm,
  • image width 506mm
two sheets watermarked “[WH]ATMAN 1808”
  • sheet, recto, lower right
  • “3 & 4”
  • sheet, verso
  • “The Forest of Radnor the black Mountains in the left hands distance / 3 & 4 in brown ink until distance”
Part of
  • 1810 Sketchbook
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; Museum records (image)


Bequeathed by Francis Towne 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 within a sketchbook containing 689 to 714, much or all of which by 1963 was owned by Mr and Mrs Sutton of New Zealand. On 19 June 1963 they sold seventeen drawings from the book, including this one, to the Fine Art Society (no.7772) for £3,750. This drawing (no.7772/7) was sold for £600 to William Wycliffe Spooner (1882–1967), who bequeathed it to the current owner, the Courtauld Institute of Art (D.1967.WS.92).

Associated People & Organisations

Courtauld Gallery, London, London, 1967, D.1967.WS.92
William Wycliffe Spooner (1882 - 1967), GBP 600
see also FT22, FT71, FT361, FT439, Ft462, FT693.
The Fine Art Society, London, London, 19 June 1963, GBP 3750, no.7772/7
Mr & Mrs Sutton, New Zealand, 1963
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915
The drawing was inherited within a sketchbook containing FT689 to FT714.
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915
The drawing was inherited within a sketchbook containing FT689 to FT714.
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
Early English Water-colours and Drawings, Fine Art Society, 1964, no. 93 as 'The Forest of Radnor, with the Black Mountain in the left hand distance'
The William Spooner Collection and Bequest, Courtauld Gallery, 1968, no. 20
Royal Academy Bicentenary Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, 1968, no. 666
Masters of the Watercolour: Watercolours from the Spooner Collection, Holburne of Menstruie Museum, 1969, no. 70
English Watercolours: the Spooner Collection and Bequest, City Art Gallery, 1973, no. 54
The William Spooner Collection and Bequest, Courtauld Gallery, 1974, no. 25
English Landscape and Watercolours, Courtauld Gallery, 1979, no. 27
Mantegna to Cezanne: Master Drawings from the Courtauld, British Museum, 1983, no. 93
[?] Francis Towne, Tate Gallery; Leeds City Art Gallery, 24 June 1997 - 4 January 1998, no. 68


Radnor Forest is a few miles east of Llandrindod Wells.

by Richard Stephens

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