Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • At Low Wood looking across Lake Windermere
  • Windermere, Near Low-Wood
  • Lake and Mountain Scene
ca. 1786/08
Pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour
  • image width 266mm,
  • image length 381mm
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; Christie’s records


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 granddaughters Maria Sophia Merivale (1853–1928) and Judith Ann Merivale (1860–1945), both of Oxford, inherited the drawing in May 1915 (BP83). At an unknown date in or prior to 1938 it was sold to Squire Gallery for £8. By 1951 it was owned by Cecil Austin Wakeford (1899/1900–1973), who probably bought it at Squire Gallery in 1939, judging by information on the Spink & Son stock card. On 14 October 1976 it was bought by Spink & Son (it is not clear from whom), and on 25 April 1977 they sold it for £1,666 to “a UK art dealer”—presumably the Manning Gallery, where it was bought in May 1977 for £3,500 by John Byng Kenrick (1911–2002), whose heirs sold it at Christie’s on 5 June 2003, lot 81, for £7,170 including fees, whereafter it is untraced.

Associated People & Organisations

Private Collection, 5 June 2003, GBP 7170
Christie's, London, London, 5 June 2003, lot 81
John Byng Kenrick (1911 - 2002), May 1977, GBP 3500
[?] Manning Gallery, 25 April 1977, GBP 1666
Spink & Son, London, London, 14 October 1976
Cecil Austin Wakeford, 1951
Squire Gallery, GBP 8
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP83
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP83
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. 81 or 82 as 'Windermere, Near Low-Wood'
Three Exeter Artists of the Eighteenth Century: Francis Hayman RA, Francis Towne, John White Abbott, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, 1951, no. 45


This is a view at Low Wood looking west over Windermere, with the Langdale Pikes in the centre-right distance, just to the right of Lingmoor Fell in the centre of the image. The view can be compared with FT484; in the present work Towne is slightly further north, on the southern outskirts of the town.

This drawing is tentatively suggested for the 1805 exhibition, as its subject matches exhibits 81 and 82 so well, and the drawing is highly coloured in the way that many exhibits were. The absence of a mount, however, argues against this.

The drawing was recorded in the Barton Place catalogue among Swiss views, although given no title, and was identified as a Low Wood view as recently as 2003.

by Richard Stephens

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