Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • A View from Low Wood
  • A View from Low-Wood
  • Windermere at Sunset
Pencil, pen and brown ink, watercolour, on laid paper with a partial watermark with lettering indistinctly visible at the left edge of the sheet (stitch marks evident also)
  • image width 159mm,
  • image length 237mm
mounted by the artist, on laid paper
  • sheet, recto, lower left
  • “F. Towne. delt.1786 No.29”
  • in brown ink
  • artist's mount, verso
  • top left, “No 29”; top right, “taken after the sun was d[own?—the mount has been cut, removing part of this inscription] / on the right hand side”; top centre, “A View taken from Low Wood, looking over the Lake of Windermere in Westmoreland, / to the mountains at the head of Coniston Lake. / drawn by Francis Towne August 16th, 1786 / London/ Leicester Square/ July 7th 1791.”
  • in brown ink (a nineteenth- or early twentieth-century copy of the inscription is preserved in Yale’s file)
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; Museum records (image)


Presumably acquired from the artist by Arthur Harington Champernowne (1768–1819), as his great-great-granddaughter Katharine Iris Paull of Chichester (see comment at FT602) sold it at Sotheby’s, 30th July 1952, lot 12, for £120 to Agnew’s (no.6967), who bought it on behalf of Sir William Worsley, Bt (1890–1973). On 2 October 1969 Worsley sold it back to Agnew’s (no.9668) with 380, where it was bought on 12 January 1970 by Paul Mellon (1907–1999), who gave it to the present owner, the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (B1975.4.1759; gift to Yale, December 1975).

Associated People & Organisations

Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, December 1975, B1975.4.1759
Mr Paul Mellon (1907 - 1999), 12 January 1970
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 2 October 1969, no.9668
Acquired with FT380
Sir William Worsley (1890 - 1973), 30 July 1952
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 30 July 1952, GBP 120, no.6967
Acquired on behalf of Sir William Worsley Bt
Sotheby's, London, London, 30 July 1952
lot 12
Katharine Iris Paull, Chichester
Arthur Harington Champernowne (1768 - 1819), 1786
Exhibition History
Exhibition of Original Drawings at the Gallery, No.20 Lower Brook Street, Grosvenor Square, 20 Lower Brook Street, 1805, no. 69 or 70, as 'A View from Low-Wood'
97th Annual Exhibition of Water-Colours and Drawings, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1970, no. 37, ex cat
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, pp. 95, 143
Sir William Worsley, Early English Water-Colours at Hovingham Hall: 1963, p. 13


This is a view at Low Wood looking over Windermere. The trees in the right mid-ground are on a natural promontory called Holme Crag, from which Towne drew FT468. Towne is here about five minutes from the Low Wood Inn. On the horizon is the Old Man of Coniston and, to its left, a peak that Towne has made artificially prominent to provide interest and balance to the left portion of the composition.

by Richard Stephens

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