Description
Creator
Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
Title(s)
  • A View of Loreto with Part of the Adriatic Sea
Date
ca. 1780 - 1781
Medium
Pencil (?), pen and grey ink, watercolour
Dimensions
  • image height 315mm,
  • image length 472mm
Mount
mounted by the artist
Inscription
  • sheet, recto, lower right
  • “Francis Towne”
Inscription
  • artist's mount, verso
  • “View of Loretto with part of the Adriatic Sea”
Object Type
Watercolour

Collection
Catalogue Number
FT420
Description Sources
Museum records (image)

Provenance

Untraced until bequeathed by writer and poet Dorothy Una Ratcliffe (1891–1967) to the present owner, Cartwright Hall Museum, Bradford.

Associated People & Organisations

Cartwright Hall Museum, Bradford, 1967
Dorothy Una Ratcliffe (1891 - 1967)
Bibliography
Timothy Wilcox, Francis Towne, Tate Publishing: London, 1997, p. 58

Comment

Loreto was a centre of pilgrimage due to the Chiesa della Casa Santa (Church of the Holy House), the domed building of Towne’s view that contained the supposed remains of the house of the Virgin Mary. As he probably visited Loreto on his way down to Rome in 1780 (the city was on the standard southward route), Towne would have missed Loreto’s major festival on 8 September, but would have been attracted nonetheless by its picture gallery with works by Lorenzo Lotto, Simon Vouet and the Carracci, and the cathedral’s mosaics by Domenichino and Guido Reni, among other art holdings

Towne has emphasised the religious character of the subject by replacing his more usual rustic figures with a religious procession. Towne’s view is similar to John “Warwick” Smith’s drawing published in his Select Views.

The drawing seems to date from the mid- to late 1780s and would have been based on a sketch made on the spot, now lost (FT170).

by Richard Stephens

Revisions & Feedback

The website will be updated from time to time and, when changes are made, a PDF of the previous version of each page will be archived here for consultation and citation.

Please help us to improve this catalogue


If you have information, a correction or any other suggestions to improve this catalogue, please contact us.