Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Landscape
Pen and black ink with grey wash
  • image width 195mm,
  • image length 259mm
cream laid paper
mounted by the artist on cream laid card measuring 263 x 327mm
  • sheet, recto, lower right
  • "Francis Towne 1774"
  • in black ink
  • artist's mount, recto, lower left
  •  "F. Towne"
  • just below the image, in pencil, probably in Towne's hand
Object Type
Monochrome wash

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Museum's own information


Acquired at an unknown date by Dr Christian David Ginsburg (1821–1914) of Oakthorpe, Palmers Green, London, whose executors sold it at Sotheby’s on 20 July 1915, lot 67. In 1922 it was given to the current owner, the Art Institue of Chicago (Acc.1922.1477), by William F. E. Gurley (whose stamp is recto, bottom left) in memory of his mother. According to David Solkin, “most of the drawings [from Gurley’s collection] appear to have been acquired at London sale-rooms or dealers just prior to the First World War” (Solkin 1978, p.411), in which case Gurley was presumably the purchaser at Sotheby’s.

Associated People & Organisations

Art Institute of Chicago
Dr Christian David Ginsburg (1821 - 1914)
William Frank Eugene Gurley (1854 - 1943)
Sotheby's, London
David H. Solkin, 'Some New Light on the Drawings by Richard Wilson', Master Drawings, No. 4: New York, 1978, p. 404


Presumably depicting Devon countryside, this drawing is not dissimilar in composition or technique to a view of Pynes dated 1778 (FT143) and is also comparable to a large Peamore drawing of 1776 (FT063). As mounted works, all three may be contrasted with Towne’s preparatory studies of this period (FT043FT061FT062), in which there is no effort to express tone or texture.

by Richard Stephens

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