Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Tivoli
  • Rocks and Trees at Tivoli
Pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour
  • image width 398mm,
  • image length 513mm
mounted by the artist on paper watermarked "1804"
  • sheet, recto, lower right
  • “At Tivoli / Francis Towne / delt / May 1st. 1781 / No15”
  • artist's mount, verso
  • “Italy. A study on the spot at Tivoli. Francis Towne del. 1781. May 21st. Mounted June 1811”
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; Wilcox 1997 (image)


Untraced until sold anonymously at Foster’s on 27 July 1910, lot 151 (a group with FT228, FT257, FT283, FT284, FT296, FT310, FT318, FT319, FT325, FT326, FT327, FT329, FT330, FT339, FT340, FT361, FT793 and FT862), for 25s. to Paul Oppé (1878–1957), whose descendants sold it in 1996 with the rest of Oppé’s collection to the present owner, the Tate Gallery (T08552).

Associated People & Organisations

Tate, London, 1966, T08552
Adolph Paul Oppé (1878 - 1957), London, 27 July 1910, GBP 25s
Foster's auctioneers (1883 - 1940), London, 27 July 1910, lot 151
Sold as a group with FT228, FT257, FT283, FT284, FT296, FT310, FT318, FT319, FT325, FT326, FT327, FT329, FT330, FT339, FT340, FT361, FT793 and a drawing by an unidentified pupil
Exhibition History
Forty Drawings of Roman Scenes by British Artists (1715-1850) from Originals in the British Museum in the Esposizione internationale di Belle Arti, 1911, no. 45
Cambridge University Pictorial Arts Society, Fitzwilliam Museum, 1923
Vienna, 1925, no. 258
Catalogue of a collection of pictures, drawings, furniture and works of art of the Empire and Regency period : select examples of Romano-British art, Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1929, no. 5
British Art, Royal Academy, 1934, no. 626
76th Annual Exhibition of Water-Colour Drawings, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1949, no. 17
Early English Drawings and Watercolours from the Collection of Paul Oppe Esq., Graves Art Gallery, 1952, no. 64
Eighteenth-Century Italy and the Grand Tour, Castle Museum, 1958, no. 12
Exhibition of Works from The Paul Oppe Collection, Royal Academy, 1958, no. 93
De Englese Aquarel uit de 18de Eeuw, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Albertina, Vienna, 1965, no. 122
Royal Academy Bicentenary Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, 1968, no. 668
Travels in Italy 1776-1783 based on the Memoirs of Thomas Jones, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, 1988, no. 60
Francis Towne, Tate Gallery; Leeds City Art Gallery, 24 June 1997 - 4 January 1998, no. 25
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, pp. 80, 146
Martin Hardie, 'Early Artists of the British Watercolour School: Francis Towne', The Collector... a magazine for lovers of art, No. 40; No. 41: London, 1930, p. 13
Luke Herrmann, British Landscape Painting of the 18th Century, Faber: London, 1973, p. 121
Paul Oppé, 'Francis Towne, Landscape Painter', The Walpole Society: London, 1920, p. 112


This is is one of three large tree studies made at Tivoli (FT257, FT258, FT259). Although it was mounted late, this drawing appears not to have been reworked (see also 203).

by Richard Stephens

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