Description
Creator
Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
Title(s)
  • Lake Como
Date
ca. 1781/08/27
Medium
Pen and brown and grey inks, watercolour, scratching out
Dimensions
  • image height 155mm,
  • image length 211mm
Mount
mounted by the artist
Inscription
  • sheet, recto, lower left
  • “No.26 / F.Towne / 1781”
  • in grey ink
Inscription
  • artist's mount, verso
  • “No.26 / Lake of Como / drawn from Nature / by / Francis Towne / [“August 27th 1781” scratched out] / light from the right / hand”
  • in shaky handwriting typical of Towne’s old age
Object Type
Watercolour

Collection
Catalogue Number
FT318
Description Sources
Examination; Museum records (image)

Provenance

Untraced until sold anonymously at Foster’s on 27 July 1910, lot 151 (a group with FT228, FT257, FT283, FT284, FT296, FT310, FT318, FT319, FT325, FT326, FT327, FT329, FT330, FT339, FT340, FT361, FT793, FT862), for 25s. to Paul Oppé (1878–1957; no.53), whose descendants sold it in 1996 with the rest of Oppé’s collection to the present owner, the Tate Gallery (T09244).

Associated People & Organisations

Tate, London, 1996, T09244
Adolph Paul Oppé (1878 - 1957), London, 27 July 1910, GBP 25s, no.53
Foster's auctioneers (1883 - 1940), 27 July 1910
Sold as a 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
Bibliography
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 148

Comment

This shows the mountain on the west shore of Lake Como just north of Menaggio. Possibly Towne drew the view from Menaggio, otherwise on the boat between that town and Bellagio.

Towne’s use of the phrase “drawn from Nature” is an unusual deviation from his more normal “on the spot”.

by Richard Stephens

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