Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Landscape Composition
ca. 1777 - 1777
Pencil, pen and grey ink, grey wash
Object Type
Monochrome wash

Catalogue Number


Untraced apart from its sale at Rosebery’s, London, on 17 March 2011, lot 57.

Associated People & Organisations

Rosebery of West Norwood, London, 17 March 2011, lot 57


When this drawing was sold in 2011, it was attributed to the manner of John White Abbott. It seems clear, though, that it is the work of Abbott’s master, Francis Towne, and probably dates from the mid-1770s. It has many points of comparison with two imaginary landscapes now at the Ashmolean Museum, both dated 1777, but especially in the loopiness of the pen line describing the trees’ foliage, in the entwined trunks, and the wash shading of the trunks. The shading of the tree at the left edge, topped with a dark canopy of leaves, is somewhat like the larger tree in the 1778 study at Pynes (FT143), and the straggliness of the dark tree in the large 1776 watercolour of Peamore (FT063) is also similar. The tree on the left here can further be compared with the tree on the far bank of the stream in a 1773 study of Canonteign (FT031).

This looks like a drawing that Towne would have made for pupils to copy (other circular compositions are FT792 and FT844).

by Richard Stephens

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