Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Durham
Pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour
  • image width 172mm,
  • image width 511mm
two sheets
  • sheet, verso
  • “No.1 / Durham / August 7th.1811 / Francis Towne”
Part of
  • 1811 Sketchbook
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; Christie's 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. It descended to Merivale’s granddaughter Janet Louisa Gibbs (née Merivale, d.1909) within a sketchbook containing FT715 to FT732, and thereafter within her family, until it was sold at Christie’s on 12 November 1991, lot 8, where it was bought by Leger Galleries for £6,500; Leger sold it to Spink the same day. It was sold at Christie’s on 3 June 2004, lot 55, for £17,925 including fees, whereafter it is untraced.

Associated People & Organisations

Christie's, London, London, 3 June 2004, lot 55
Spink & Son, London, London, 12 November 1991
Leger Galleries, London, 12 November 1991
Christie's, London, London, 12 November 1991, GBP 6500, lot 8
Janet Louisa Gibbs (née Merivale) (? - 1909)
Within a sketchbook containing FT715 to FT732
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
British Landscape Painting, Leger Galleries, 1992, no. 27
Timothy Wilcox, Francis Towne, Tate Publishing: London, 1997, p. 141


This is the famous view of Durham Cathedral from the west bank of the River Wear. Towne was drawing on or near Prebend’s Bridge.

by Richard Stephens

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