- Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
- Looking towards Newton
- View in Devonshire
- The Valley of the Teign, Devonshire
- Oil on canvas
- image height 806mm,
- image length 1143mm
- sheet, recto
- “F.Towne pinxt 1780”
- Object Type
- Oil painting
Commissioned by Thomas Taylor of Denbury (1731–1805) and untraced thereafter until its sale at Sotheby’s on 16 February 1949, lot 138, to the Fine Art Society for £98. By 1962 it was in the collection of the current owner, New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester Arts and Museums Service.
- Associated People & Organisations
- New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester Arts and Museums Service, Leicester, 1962, L.F55.1953.0.0
- The Fine Art Society, London, London, 16 February 1949, GBP 98
- Sotheby's, London, London, 16 February 1949, lot 138
- Thomas Taylor (1731 - 1805)
- Exhibition History
- [?] The Exhibition of the Royal Academy, Royal Academy of Arts, 1780, no. 21 or 24 as 'View in Devonshire'
- Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 62-63, 138
- William George Constable, Richard Wilson, Routledge & Kegan Paul: London, 1953, p. 240
- Luke Herrmann, British Landscape Painting of the 18th Century, Faber: London, 1973, p. 75
- Benjamin Donn, 'A Map of the County of Devon', Benjamin Donn: A Commemorative Volume, Devon and Cornwall Record Society and The University of Exeter: Exeter, 1965, plate 11a
- Thomas Gray, A catalogue of the antiquities, houses, parks, plantations, scenes, and situations in England and Wales, arranged according to the alphabetical order of the several counties: London, 1773, p. 10
- The Letters of Eliza Pierce, ed. Violet M. Macdonald (ed.), Frederick Etchells & Hugh Macdonald: London, 1927, p. 23
Taylor appears to have been close to the family of another of Towne’s patrons, Lord Courtenay; a biography of Taylor calls the Courtenay family his “cousins” and he was a member of the viscount’s Starcross Club.4 Taylor commissioned a portrait of Courtenay’s daughter Lady Caroline (1775–1851) from John Downman, which is inscribed “for old Mr Taylor of Denbury” and dated 1801,5 when a version of it was exhibited at the Royal Academy. A portrait of Taylor by John Opie (1761–1807) still hangs at Powderham Castle, the Courtenay seat. Taylor’s portrait was also painted twice by Arthur Devis (1711–1787).6 Taylor was from a naval family and in one of these portraits (fig 156b) he is standing next to his brother-in-law Arthur Holdsworth (1733–1777), Governor of Dartmouth Castle, against a backdrop of the River Dart. Taylor was himself the Recorder of Dartmouth and after the death in 1776 of his wife, Eliza Pierce, he spent much of his time travelling in Devon on legal business, especially to Dartmouth, Exeter, and Newton Abbott. He was a regular visitor to the Holdsworths at Widdicombe and the Courtenays at Powderham.
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