Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Near Rocca di Papa
Pencil, pen and brown ink, grey wash
  • image width 248mm,
  • image length 194mm
  • sheet, verso
  • “Near Roccha del papa / Wood of chestnut trees”, numbered “43” or “49”, and dated “1781”
Object Type
Monochrome wash

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Leger catalogue (image)


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 (BP18). Judith Merivale sold it to Agnew’s (no.1786) on 11 September 1935 (January 1936 according to the Barton Place catalogue) for £8, where the same day it appears to have been bought by Sir Michael Ernest Sadler (1861–1943 for £12. On the basis of Oppé’s description (below) BP18 is almost certainly the drawing on sale at Leger Galleries in 1994 (whose image appears above), whereafter it is untraced.

Associated People & Organisations

[?] Leger Galleries, London, 1994
Sir Michael Ernest Sadler (1861 - 1943), 11 September 1935, GBP 12
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 11 September 1935, GBP 8, no.1786
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP18
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP18
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
British Paintings, Watercolours and Drawings, Leger Galleries, 1994, no. 6


Paul Oppé described BP18 thus: “18 ½ [i.e. half the size of the thick prepared paper of FT279] tones yellow. Best free ink tree. Smith with mere ind ink backgrd. Light foregrd.”1 This description fits so well with the Leger drawing (which claims a Merivale provenance)—that the two are here identified as the same work, even though the Barton Place catalogue stated that it was numbered “43” and Leger described the number as “49”.

by Richard Stephens


  1. 1 Paul Oppé records: notes, ca. 1915.

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