Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Wembworthy
  • sheet, verso
  • “Wemworthy” and “1796”
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Paul Oppé records


Bequeathed by the artist 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 (BP212) and, as the Barton Place catalogue contains no record of its disposal, it may have remained with the family until or after Judith Merivale’s death. In 1955 Weenworthy 1796 was noted in the collection of Paul Oppé (1878–1957) by Henri Lemaitre, although perhaps this was an error as no evidence has been found linking it to Oppé.

Associated People & Organisations

[?] Adolph Paul Oppé (1878 - 1957), London, 1955
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP212
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP212
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Henri Lemaitre, Le Paysage Anglais a l'Aquarelle 1760-1951, Bordas: Paris, 1955, p. 167
Paul Oppé, 'Francis Towne, Landscape Painter', The Walpole Society: London, 1920, p. 125


The subject is probably Wembworthy, thirty or forty miles north-west of Exeter. Paul Oppé’s note reads: “212 Wemworthy 1796. Light & fragile. blue & green. No outline. pure flimsy watercolour of Peamore. (another Mrs. Rawlins has)”. In his article Oppé calls the drawing “a queer mosaic of flimsy transparent colour”.1

by Richard Stephens


  1. 1 Paul Oppé records: notes, ca. 1915; Oppé 1920, p.125.

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