Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • A Waterfall near Lidford
ca. 1780 - 1790
Pencil, pen and brown ink, watercolour
  • image width 277mm,
  • image length 203mm
mounted by the artist on card which has been cut at the edges
  • artist's mount, verso
  • “A Water fall near Lidford”
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; Museum records (image)


Untraced until bought by Paul Oppé (1878–1957; no.50) at Foster’s on 9 March 1916 (see also FT571). Oppé’s descendants sold it in 1996 with the rest of his collection to the present owner, the Tate Gallery, London (T08565).

Associated People & Organisations

Tate, London, 1996, T08565
Adolph Paul Oppé (1878 - 1957), London, 9 March 1916, no.508
Foster's auctioneers (1883 - 1940), 27 July 1910, lot 151
Sold as group with FT228, FT257, FT283, FT284, FT296, FT310, FT318, FT319, FT325, FT326, FT327, FT329, FT330, FT339, FT340, FT361, FT793 and a drawing by an unidentified pupil.
Exhibition History
76th Annual Exhibition of Water-Colour Drawings, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1949, no. 1
Paul Oppé, 'Francis Towne, Landscape Painter', The Walpole Society: London, 1920, p. 124
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 147


There are two falls at Lydford (Lidford). This is the smaller one, known as Kate’s Fall or Kate’s Hole after a woman who drowned there, and was also depicted by T. H. Williams.1 Towne drew the larger falls in 1780 (FT163), though this work is probably later and from the late 1780s or early 1790s, comparable to drawings of Chudleigh dated 1787 (FT540) and of Oakhampton dated 1794 (FT580). Oppé considered it “feeble and washy”,2 comparing it to four late foliage studies, FT636, FT637, FT638, and FT639, and describing it in his article among the “Later Drawings”.

by Richard Stephens


  1. 1 After T. H. Williams, Kate’s Fall, ca. 1804 (Somers Cocks 2002).
  2. 2 Paul Oppé records: notes, ca. 1915.

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