Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Waterfall
  • The Waterfall
Pen and brown ink, watercolour
  • image width 375mm,
  • image length 260mm
mounted by the artist
  • sheet, recto, lower right
  • “F.Towne / delt 1795”
  • artist's mount, verso
  • “Francis Towne / delt 1795”
  • in brown ink
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; Witt Library (image)


Presumably bought or commissioned from the artist by Arthur Champernowne (1768–1819), whose great-grandson Arthur Melville Champernowne (1871–1946; see Comment at FT602) sold it at Sotheby’s on 27 April 1911 (with FT321) to Paul Oppé (1878–1957), who sold it to Colnaghi (no.A17916) on 13 December 1950. The same day it was bought there for £175 by David, Viscount Eccles (1904–1999), who sold it back to Colnaghi (no.A18944) on 29 April 1952, where it was bought the same day for £225 by Alan Douglas Pilkington (1890–1973) who bequeathed it to the present owner, Eton College, Windsor (Pi 191[292]).

Associated People & Organisations

Eton College, Windsor, 1973, Pi 191(292)
Alan Douglas Pilkington (1890 - 1973), 29 April 1952, GBP 225
P&D Colnaghi & Co, London, 29 April 1952, no.A18944
Viscount David Eccles (1904 - 1999), 13 December 1950, GBP 175
P&D Colnaghi & Co, London, 13 December 1950, no.A17916
Adolph Paul Oppé (1878 - 1957), London, 27 April 1911
Sotheby's, London, London, 27 April 1911
Arthur Melville Champernowne (1871 - 1946), April 1911
[?] Arthur Harington Champernowne (1768 - 1819)
Exhibition History
[?] The 49th Exhibition of Selected Watercolour Drawings by Artists of the Early English School In Aid of the Manchester Royal Infirmary, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1922, no. 108
[?] The Fiftieth Annual Exhibition of Selected Water Colour Drawings, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1923, no. 112
Loan Exhibition of Water-Colour Drawings by Francis Towne (1740-1816) The property of A.P. Oppe Esq. C.B., Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1949, no. 29
A Loan Exhibition of English Drawings & Watercolours in memory of the late D.C.T.Baskett, Colnaghi, 1963, no. 33
A Genius for Watercolour - Watercolours from the Eton College Collection, Christies, 2003, no. 33
Paul Oppé, 'Francis Towne, Landscape Painter', The Walpole Society: London, 1920, pp. 124-125


Eton College records suggest that this drawing represents the falls of the Cayne, and Wilcox (in the catalogue note for the 2003 Christie’s exhibition) observed “some resemblance to the Becky Falls high on Dartmoor”.1 As the drawing is associated by size, date, and provenance with an Aberglaslyn landscape (FT583), and in the absence of other evidence, it is feasibly a Welsh subject. If it does indeed portray the Cayne falls, then it is probably a version of FT078. The 1923 Agnew exhibit was called The Waterfall (1795).

by Richard Stephens


  1. 1 Wilcox also read the mount date as 1796.

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