Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • In the Villa Barberini
Pen and black ink, watercolour with gum
  • image width 354mm,
  • image length 267mm
mounted by the artist, the mount now stuck down on a modern mount
  • sheet, recto, lower left
  • “No.53 / F.Towne. delt / 1781”
  • in brown ink
  • artist's mount, verso
  • “1781. Evening Sun from the right hand”
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Author's examination of the work

John Thomas 'Antiquity' Smith, Catalogue of the Towne Bequest, 1817, Department of Prints and Drawings, British Museum


Bequeathed by the artist in 1816 to James White of Exeter (1744–1825), who gave it in 1816 to the present owner, the British Museum, London (Nn.1.23).

Associated People & Organisations

British Museum
James White (1744 - 1825)
Exhibition History
[?] Exhibition of Original Drawings at the Gallery, No.20 Lower Brook Street, Grosvenor Square, 20 Lower Brook Street, 1805, no. 146 or 147 as 'In the Villa Barberini'
unidentified exhibition, British Museum, 1934, no. 421
Light, time, legacy: Francis Towne’s watercolours of Rome, British Museum, 2016
Laurence Binyon, Catalogue of Drawings by British Artists and Artists of Foreign Origin Working in Great Britain Preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, Trustees of the British Museum: London, 1907, p. 202
Henri Lemaitre, Le Paysage Anglais a l'Aquarelle 1760-1951, Bordas: Paris, 1955, p. 156
Paul Oppé, 'Francis Towne, Landscape Painter', The Walpole Society: London, 1920, p. 113
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 126
Luke Herrmann, British Landscape Painting of the 18th Century, Faber: London, 1973, p. 77


This drawing is identified as a view of the Villa Barberini gardens on the basis of the British Museum’s manuscript catalogue of the initial tranche of Towne’s drawings made in 1817.

Towne has used a great deal of gum and the intense orange and blues of the sky are similar to those in FT312 and FT313.

by Richard Stephens

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