Description
Creator
Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
Title(s)
  • Near Llyn Cwellyn
  • Llyngwellyn, Caernarvonshire
  • near Mynydd Mawr
  • Bridge and Waterfall, near Llyngwellyn
  • Bridge and Waterfall near Llyngwellyn
Date
1777
Medium
Pen and ink, watercolour
Dimensions
  • image height 287mm,
  • image length 435mm
Support
vertical crease down the centre of the paper
Mount
mounted by the artist
Inscription
  • sheet, recto, lower left
  • “F.Towne delt.1777”
Inscription
  • artist's mount, verso
  • Formerly (?): “Near Llyn gwellyn / Savile House Leicester Sqre.”, dated “1777” with a further erased date, numbered “30”, and inscribed with an indication of the light and that it was made “on the spot”
Object Type
Watercolour

Collection
Catalogue Number
FT094
Description Sources
Paul Oppé records; Museum records (image)

Provenance

Bequeathed by the artist in 1816 to James White of Exeter (1744–1825), on whose death it passed to Towne’s residuary legatee John Herman Merivale (1779–1844) and his successors. Merivale’s granddaughters Maria Sophia Merivale (1853–1928) and Judith Ann Merivale (1860–1945), both of Oxford, inherited the drawing in May 1915 (BP116). In July 1924 they sold it to Agnew’s (no.10548) for £40 or £42, where it was purchased on 16 July 1926 for £55 by the current owner, the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, whose records state that the purchase was made by the Walker Mechanics Institute, Newcastle upon Tyne, at the Medici Society in Harrogate, the institute lending the drawing to the Laing between 1926 and 1942, when it gave it to the gallery.

Associated People & Organisations

Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, 16 July 1926, GBP 55, TWCMS : B8043
Records state that the purchase was made by the Walker Mechanics Institute, Newcastle upon Tyne, at the Medici Society in Harrogate, the institute lending the drawing to the Laing between 1926 and 1942, when it gave it to the gallery.
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 16 July 1926, GBP 40-42, no.10548
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP116
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP116
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
[?] Exhibition of Original Drawings at the Gallery, No.20 Lower Brook Street, Grosvenor Square, 20 Lower Brook Street, 1805, no. 32 as 'Llyngwellyn, Caernarvonshire' or 34 as 'near Mynydd Mawr'
Exhibition of Selected Watercolour Drawings by Artists of the Early English School, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1921, no. 37 as 'Bridge and Waterfall, near Llyngwellyn'
British Watercolours, Laing Art Gallery, 1993, no. 24
Bibliography
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, pp. 73, 137
Henry Penruddocke Wyndham, A Tour Through Monmouthshire and Wales Made in the Months of June and July 1774 and in the months of June, July and August 1777: Salisbury, 1781, p. 126

Comment

Llyn Cwellyn is a lake next to Snowdon, north of Beddgelert (see also FT091, FT092, FT093).

Towne appears to have depicted the mill, bridge, and waterfall that were described by Wyndham. Having left Pont Aberglaslyn, Wyndham passed

through the miserable town of Beddkelert, over a rocky desert at the foot of the Snowdon mountains, to the lakes of Llwchwellyn. From the brink of the larger lake a remarkable precipice erects its ragged perpendicular to an amazing height: some idea of its exalted elevation may be conceived from its name, for tho’ it be in the neighbourhood of Snowdon, it is universally called Mynydd Mawr, the great mountain. A picturesque waterfall offers itself to the view, near the mill of Llwchwellin, which descends under a small stone bridge, and is backed by the before mentioned Mynydd Mawr.1 

The drawing is no longer attached to a mount and there is no indication of the verso inscription described in Paul Oppé’s note:

116. M 11 x 17 [280 x 432 mm]. fold 1777 on both sides. Spot & light over erasure at back. Savile House Leicseter Sqre. date erased at back. Outline rather stronger[?] on whole. Big tree L. green & brown, washed fully Hot[?] green yellow. Rest flat, & well toned. Big masses of hill beginning. Water & Bridge crumbly as before. Cloud no outline. Clear colour. Water in coloured line, an[. . .] Lake scene. Full of brown gum.2
by Richard Stephens

Footnotes

  1. 1 Wyndham 1781, p.126.
  2. 2 Paul Oppé records: notes, ca. 1915.

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