Sections

Unbound Sketches, 1810–ca. 1814

Richard Stephens

Four loose drawings are known from Towne’s final decade that seem unconnected with each other and with the six sketchbooks that are well documented from these final years. Yet three are drawn in exactly the same style as the sketchbook sheets. The fourth was a gift from the artist to his friend William Holwell Carr and shows an idealised Italianate landscape (FT656a). It is unique among all the watercolours of Towne’s last decade in being a pure watercolour with no pen line, and provides rare evidence that Towne had mastered that idiom, which had come to dominate watercolour production among the younger generation of artists now centred around the Society of Painters in Watercolour (founded in 1804).

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.

Imprint

Imprint
Article title
Unbound Sketches, 1810–ca. 1814
Author
Richard Stephens
Date
21/01/2016
Article DOI
https://doi.org/10.17658/towne/s4e1
Cite as
Richard Stephens, "Unbound Sketches, 1810–ca. 1814", A Catalogue Raisonné of Francis Towne (1739-1816), (London: Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2016), https://doi.org/10.17658/towne/s4e1

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