Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Two Miles from Rome, going out at Porta Salara
  • View near Rome, two miles from the Porta Salaria
Pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour with gum
  • image width 208mm,
  • image length 267mm
mounted by the artist
  • sheet, recto, lower left
  • “F.Towne delt. Rome / Octr 30.1780 No.9”
  • artist's mount, verso
  • “No.9 2 Miles from Rome going out at Porta Salasa [“Oct 21st, 1780” scratched out] from ½ past 2 o Clock till 5 / Francis Towne delt. / Oct 30. 1780 [the date in dark brown ink]”
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; Museum records (image)


Bequeathed by the artist in 1816 to James White of Exeter (1744–1825), who gave it in 1816 to the present owner, the British Museum, London (Nn.2.09).

Associated People & Organisations

British Museum
James White (1744 - 1825)
Exhibition History
[?] Exhibition of Original Drawings at the Gallery, No.20 Lower Brook Street, Grosvenor Square, 20 Lower Brook Street, 1805, no. 144 as 'From a Vineyard looking towards Frescati, going out of the Porta Salaro'
Light, time, legacy: Francis Towne’s watercolours of Rome, British Museum, 2016
Laurence Binyon, Catalogue of Drawings by British Artists and Artists of Foreign Origin Working in Great Britain Preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, Trustees of the British Museum: London, 1907, p. 199
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 123


Porta Salara was a gateway in the north-east portion of the ancient Roman wall between Porta Pia and Porta Pinciana (see FT175 and FT176). The precise location of the view has not been identified, nor is the view’s significance for Towne clear, although it is here tentatively identified with From a Vineyard looking towards Frescati, going out of the Porta Salaro, which Towne exhibited in 1805. Even so, it is one of several that depict the Alban hills and is fairly typical of the unmonumental rural views that Towne and his fellow artists made in the countryside near Rome, such as an example from the Oppé collection.1

by Richard Stephens


  1. 1 John “Warwick” Smith, Outside Porta Pia, ca. 1777–78 (

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