Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • A View at Ambleside, near Sir Michael Fleming’s on the Road to Keswick
  • View at Ambleside
  • Ambleside
  • At Ambleside
Pencil, pen and brown ink, watercolour with gum
  • image width 157mm,
  • image length 475mm
two sheets
mounted by the artist on paper watermarked “CURTEIS & SON”
  • sheet, recto, lower left
  • “No.3 F.Towne / delt. [“1786” scratched out]”
  • artist's mount, verso
  • “No3 / A View at Ambleside in Westmorland near Sir Michael Flemings in the road to Keswick drawn on the spot by Francis Towne. / [erasure]”
  • with “A View [...] Towne” on three separate lines
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; Museum records (image)


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 granddaughter Emily Harriet Buckingham (1853–1923) inherited the drawing in 1915 and by 1929 it was in the collection of Herbert Powell, who in that year gave it in trust to the National Art Collections Fund, which presented it in 1967 to the current owner, the Tate Gallery (T01019). This is presumably the View at Ambleside that on 6 March 1922 Emily Buckingham sold to Agnew’s (no.10123) for £45 and that (on 27 February 1922 according to Agnew’s) Colonel F. A. Powell(?) purchased there for £65.

Associated People & Organisations

Tate, London, 1967, T01019
National Art Collections Fund, 1929
Herbert Powell
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 6 March 1922, GBP 45, no.10123
Emily Harriet Buckingham (1853 - 1923), 1915
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
[?] Exhibition of Original Drawings at the Gallery, No.20 Lower Brook Street, Grosvenor Square, 20 Lower Brook Street, 1805, no. 67 as 'Ambleside', or 75, 83 or 91 as 'At Ambleside'
[?] Exhibition of Selected Watercolour Drawings by Artists of the Early English School, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1922, no. 77 as 'Ambleside 1786'
National Art Collections Fund Travelling Trust, 1930, no. 122
Viewfinders, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, 1980, no. 62
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 139


This is a view on the road north to Keswick, near the village of Rydal, about a mile beyond Ambleside. Nab Scar is the mountain on the right, and Loughrigg is on the left; Rydal Beck is the stream in the mid-ground. Towne’s inscription refers to Rydal Hall, the seat of Sir Michael le Fleming, 4th Bt (1748–1806), who remodelled the house and in whose grounds Towne sketched (see FT460, FT463, FT474, FT478).


by Richard Stephens

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