Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Two Miles from Rome going out at the Porta Pia
  • View in the Campagna
Pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour
  • image width 209mm,
  • image length 417mm
two sheets of laid paper with a watermark of a fleur de lis within a coronet
mounted by the artist
  • sheet, recto, lower right
  • “F.Towne delt. / Rome. Octr. 26 1780 No.5”
  • in black ink
  • artist's mount, verso
  • “No.5 2 Miles from Rome going out at the Porta Pia / from 10 O Clock till 1 O Clock / Francis Towne delt. / Rome Octr.26 1780 [the date inscribed over the earlier scratched-out “Octr. 26th. 1780.”]”
  • in black ink
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Author's examination of the object


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.2.05)

Associated People & Organisations

British Museum, London, 1816, Nn.2.05
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
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. 138 as 'Going out of Porta Pia, Rome'
Das Aquarell 1400-1950, Haus der Kunst, 1972, no. 142
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. 109
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 123
Paul Oppé, 'Francis Towne, Landscape Painter', The Walpole Society: London, 1920, p. 109
Keith Roberts, 'Review: 1974 exhibition at Kenwood', The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs, No. 857, Burlington Magazine Publications Ltd: London, 1974, p. 491


This drawing depicts the bridge across the Fossa della Ceccina in the countryside north of Rome, with the Sabine mountains in the distance. It closely follows the drawing made by Richard Wilson in the 1750s for the Earl of Dartmouth.1

The left-hand sheet has no pen and ink, instead only rather free watercolour washes. 

Towne made a copy of this drawing, undated but probably of the later 1780s (FT419).

by Richard Stephens


  1. 1 Richard Wilson, Via Nomentana, 1750s (Ford 1951).

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