Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Lake Maggiore
ca. 1781/08/25
Pencil (?), pen and brown ink, watercolour
  • image width 155mm,
  • image length 210mm
mounted by the artist on paper watermarked "J WHATMAN 1794"
  • sheet, recto, lower left
  • “No.21 / F.Towne / 1781”
  • artist's mount, verso
  • “Lake of Maggiore / drawn after Nature / by / Francis Towne / August 25, 1781 / light on the left hand”
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Christie's records (image)


Presumably bought from the artist by Arthur Champernowne (1768–1819), whose great-grandson Arthur Melville Champernowne (1871–1946; see Comment at FT602) sold it for £29 (with FT298, FT313) at Sotheby’s on 20 May 1936, lot 1, to “Stelfox” (presumably a code name), according to an annotated copy of the sale catalogue in the library of the Courtauld Institute of Art (kindly supplied by Donato Esposito). A further Sotheby’s sale on 9 June 1938 is recorded (see the provenance at FT312), where it was bought by the Palser Gallery for £26 (with FT298, FT312, FT583). It was sold at Sotheby’s on 19 March 1958, lot 33, for £160 to Agnew’s (no.9205), who bought it on behalf of Sir William Worsley, Bt (1890–1973), whose family sold it at Christie’s on 20 November 1984, lot 72, where it was bought by Colnaghi for £11,000. It is thereafter untraced although it was in a “collection particuliere” in 1998.

Associated People & Organisations

P&D Colnaghi & Co, London, London, 20 November 1984, GBP 11000
Christie's, London, London, 20 November 1984, lot 72
Sir William Worsley (1890 - 1973), 19 March 1958
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 19 March 1958, GBP 160, no.9195
Acquired on behalf of Sir William Worsley
Sotheby's, London, London, 19 March 1958, lot 33
Palser and Son Gallery, 9 June 1938, GBP 26
Acquired with FT298, FT312, FT583
G. Douglas Thompson, 9 June 1938, GBP 26
Acquired with FT298, FT312, FT583
[?] Sotheby's, London, London, 9 June 1938
Sotheby's, London, London, 20 May 1936, GBP 29, lot 1
Sold to “Stelfox” (presumably a pseudonym), according to an annotated copy of the sale catalogue in the library of the Courtauld Institute of Art
Arthur Melville Champernowne (1871 - 1946)
Arthur Harington Champernowne (1768 - 1819), 1781
bought from the artist
Exhibition History
Exhibition of Original Drawings at the Gallery, No.20 Lower Brook Street, Grosvenor Square, 20 Lower Brook Street, 1805, no. 120, 121 or 122 as 'Lake of Maggiore'
Early English Water Colours, Leeds City Art Gallery, 8 October 1958 to 23 November 1958, no. 97
English Drawings and Watercolours, Colnaghi, 1985, no. 45
Gerald Bauer, Le Siecle d'Or de L'Aquarelle Anglaise, Biblioth: Paris, 1998, p. 42
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 144
Timothy Wilcox, Francis Towne, Tate Publishing: London, 1997, p. 91
Sir William Worsley, Early English Water-Colours at Hovingham Hall: 1963, p. 15

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