Sections

London, Hampshire and Surrey, ca. 1782-1801

Richard Stephens

Although closely associated with Exeter, Towne was a frequent visitor to London and counties in the east of England. Though there are no known drawings, in the summer of 1793 Towne visited Kent, as the following January a friend mentioned that he “was highly entertained by the account you was so obliging as to give me of the several Excursions you made thro’ Kent & Devon in the course of the last Summer”.1 Among the few sketches that survive, seven were made in London in the summer of 1797 (FT591, FT592, FT593, FT594, FT595, FT596, FT597), of which four are inscribed with his address of 114 New Bond Street (FT591, FT592, FT593, FT594, FT595) and one is numbered 44 (FT591). The provenance of the London drawings before the mid-twentieth century is unclear but one certainly has a Merivale provenance (FT595) as, doubtless, do the others. The following year, Towne visited the New Forest in Hampshire, east of Southampton. Three drawings are known (FT599, FT600, FT601) and a further drawing, from a visit of 1800, also survives (FT622). A further Netley Abbey subject is known through a pupil’s copy (FT895a). Apart from these works, one drawing survives from each of Towne’s visits to London, in 1800 (FT622) and 1801 (FT625); a further view, dated 1800, may show a village north of London, such as Hampstead or Highate (FT623). A view of Hornsey dated 1786 was perhaps drawn as Towne made his way to or from the Lake District (FT452). 

About the author

  • In 2006 Richard Stephens was awarded a PhD at Birkbeck College, London, for his thesis, A Catalogue Raisonné of The Works of Francis Towne, on which this website is based. In 2016 he curated the exhibition Light, Time, Legacy: Francis Towne's watercolours of Rome at the British Museum, London. He edits The art world in Britain 1660 to 1735, published by the University of York.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Letter from F. Eleanora Louis to Francis Towne, 25 January 1794.

Imprint

Imprint
Article title
London, Hampshire and Surrey, ca. 1782-1801
Author
Richard Stephens
Date
21/01/2016
Article DOI
https://doi.org/10.17658/towne/s3e9
Cite as
Richard Stephens, "London, Hampshire and Surrey, ca. 1782-1801", A Catalogue Raisonné of Francis Towne (1739-1816), (London: Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2016), https://doi.org/10.17658/towne/s3e9

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