Description
Creator
Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
Title(s)
  • Kenilworth Castle
Date
ca. 1809 - 1815
Medium
Pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour
Dimensions
  • image height 178mm,
  • image length 257mm
Object Type
Watercolour

Collection
Catalogue Number
FT655
Description Sources
Christie's records (image)

Provenance

Untraced (although see Comment below) until 20 February 1946, when sold by Bernard Milling of Squire Gallery to the Fine Art Society (no.4336) for £28 5s. The Fine Art Society sold it on 8 (or 3) September 1948 for £47 5s. to Joseph Hawksley Elliot of Sheffield (d. ca. 1978) and it was offered for sale by his daughter at Christie’s on 14 March 1978, lot 93, when, however, it did not sell. It was sold at Christie’s on 17 November, 1987, lot 155, for £2,400, whereafter it is untraced. It was surely acquired by Squire Gallery from Judith Merivale or her estate.

Associated People & Organisations

Untraced
Private Collection, 17 November 1987, GBP 2400
Christie's, London, London, 17 November 1987, lot 155
Christie's, London, London, 14 March 1978, lot 93
Unsold
Joseph Hawksley Elliot (1884 - 1978), Sheffield, September 1948, GBP 47.5s
The Fine Art Society, London, London, 20 February 1946, GBP 28.5s, no.4336
Squire Gallery
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
Annual Water Colour Exhibition 1926, The Judge's Lodgings, Winchester, 1926, no. 128
The Squire Gallery Autumn Exhibition English Watercolours & Drawings, Squire Gallery, 1934, no. 6 as 'Landscape with Cattle and Sheep being driven along a Road, probably an Italian example'
Wasser, Wolken, Licht und Steine, Mittelrhein Museum Koblenz, 2002, no. 29
Bibliography
Evelyn Joll, Cecil Higgins Art Gallery Watercolours and Drawings, Trustees of the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery: Bedford, 2002, p. 263

Comment

The drawing has been identified as a view of Kenilworth Castle, although apparently not on the basis of an inscription. Towne made two drawings of Kenilworth Castle on 28 August 1813 (FT757, FT758). Although no other visit to Kenilworth is known—and this drawing was certainly made ca. 1809–15—it is unlikely that it formed part of the 1813 sketchbook, as there is no record of it among drawings exhibited or sold by Walker’s Galleries, the purchaser of the sketchbook in August 1927. Stylistically it is more similar to drawings of the 1812–15 and 1815 sketchbooks, which are generally more slightly drawn and compositionally much less solid than the 1813 works. However, the drawing is not on paper from either of those sketchbooks. Its ownership by Bernard Milling in the mid-1940s strongly suggests that it was once the property of the Merivale family, and it is quite likely that this was the fifth late drawing or part of one of the sketchbooks among the “two small sketchbooks & five small drawings (late in date)” sold to Milling by Judith Merivale in 1945 for £50.

by Richard Stephens

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