Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Penmaenmawr
  • The Road going over Penmaen Mawr to Conway
Pen and ink, watercolour
mounted by the artist
  • artist's mount, verso
  • “Penmaenmawr drawn on the spot”, with an extensive inscription erased and replaced with the date “1777” (the erasure including the word “finished”)
  • artist's mount, verso
  • numbered “31” (Paul Oppé records) or “34” (Barton Place catalogue)
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Paul Oppé records; Agnew’s records


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 (BP117). On 14 January 1935 Judith Merivale sold it for £30 to Thomas Sherrer Ross Boase (1898–1974), whereafter it is untraced.

Associated People & Organisations

Thomas Sherrer Ross Boase (1898 - 1974), 14 January 1935, GBP 30
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP117
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP117
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. 36 as 'The Road going over Penmaen Mawr to Conway'
Paul Oppé, 'Francis Towne, Landscape Painter', The Walpole Society: London, 1920, p. 108
Timothy Wilcox, Francis Towne, Tate Publishing: London, 1997, p. 47


This is one of two views of Penmaenmawr. See the Comment at FT096.

Paul Oppé’s note of this drawing reads: “117. Penmaenmawr. on the spot [. . .] , large inscr erased with 1777 over. Nothing on front. Word erased probably finished. Very loose wooly paint thin outline obscured & thin ful sunset colouring even[?] distant hills over sea. Heavy shadows & hatching in colour everywhere. Typical of late wash.” Judging by this note, this is probably the drawing described by Oppé as having a red sunset “added at a later date by an unlucky afterthought [. . .] No.31, Miss Merivale. It has a long inscription at the back of the mount which has been erased and replaced by the date 1777. There is no date on the drawing itself.”1 Oppé’s comments, and the erased word “finished”, suggest that the drawing was finished long after 1777, as is the case elsewhere (FT051).

by Richard Stephens


  1. 1 Oppé 1920, p.108 and note.

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