Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Near Rocca di Papa
Pencil, pen and grey ink, grey and blue washes
  • image width 402mm,
  • image length 250mm
thick wove paper, unevenly cut, creased at bottom
  • sheet, verso
  • “No.48 / Near Rocca del Papa / In the Wood of Chesnut Trees / Francis Towne / 1781”
Object Type
Monochrome wash

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Exmination; 1980 Birmingham 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 (BP17). Judith Merivale sold the drawing to Squire Gallery in November 1933 for £7 10s. It was acquired by J. Leslie Wright (1862–1953), who bequeathed it to the present owner, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (Inv. P393'53). This is probably the drawing described by Colnaghi as “‘In the Wood of the Chestnut Trees’ pen, wash and watercolour signed & dated 1781”, which Mrs F. L. Evans sold to Colnaghi (no.A13024) on 2 June 1945. Three days later Colnaghi sold it for £45 to “J F Wright”.

Associated People & Organisations

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, 1953, Inv.P393'53
James Leslie Wright (1862 - 1953), 5 June 1945, GBP 45
Sold by Colnaghi for £45 to "J F Wright".
[?] P&D Colnaghi & Co, London, London, 2 June 1945, no.A13024
[?] Mrs F. L. Evans
Squire Gallery, London, November 1933, GBP 7.10s
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP17
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP17
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
Exhibition of Masters of British Water-Colour (17th-19th Centuries) The J. Leslie Wright Collection, Royal Academy, 1949, no. 129
Watercolours from the Birmingham Art Gallery, Worthing Art Gallery, 1960, no. 16
De Englese Aquarel uit de 18de Eeuw, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Albertina, Vienna, 1965, no. 123
Two Centuries of English Painting, National Gallery, Prague; National Slovak Gallery, Bratislava, 1969, no. 139
English Watercolours and Drawings: The J.Leslie Wright Bequest [catalogue indexed as 'Rose 1980'], Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery, 1980, no. 64
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 135
Kenneth Garlick, 'The J. Leslie Wright Collection of English Watercolours', Apollo, No. 74, Apollo Magazine Ltd: London, 1969, p. 282

Revisions & Feedback

The website will be updated from time to time and, when changes are made, a PDF of the previous version of each page will be archived here for consultation and citation.

Please help us to improve this catalogue

If you have information, a correction or any other suggestions to improve this catalogue, please contact us.