Description
Creator
B. T. Pouncey after Francis Towne
Title(s)
  • Ruins of La Bathia, near Martigny
Date
1793
Medium
Etching, proof before letters
Dimensions
  • image height 324mm,
  • image width 254mm
Inscription
  • sheet, recto, lower left
  • “Painted by F.Towne 1789”
Inscription
  • sheet, recto
  • “Etch’d B.T.Pouncy 1793”
Annotation
  • sheet, verso
  • “This is near Martigne at the head of the Lake of Geneva / From Mr Towne / Mr [?]Crews”
  • in pencil

Collection
Catalogue Number
FT812
Description Sources
Information supplied by Timothy Wilcox.

Provenance

In a private collection in 1998, otherwise unknown.

Associated People & Organisations

Private Collection
Bibliography
Timothy Wilcox, Francis Towne, Tate Publishing: London, 1997, p. 90

Comment

This composition has close similarities with a drawing by William Pars formerly in the collection of Dr John Percy (1817–1889) and now in Bradford Art Gallery. According to Andrew Wilton (who did not link the Bradford drawing with Dr Percy’s), Pars’s drawing of Martigny dates from ca. 1770. If this is so, Towne surely knew it himself, before he himself visited the Rhone valley. The etching differs in certain areas from Pars’s drawing (for instance the trunk of the tree in the left foreground divides in two in Towne’s version but is a single cylinder in Pars’s; the sky is not reproduced exactly). Towne may well have owned the drawing since the 1770s, of course; equally, throughout his life he appears to have remained in touch with Pars’s family and may have had access to it later.

Given the date on this etching, it is surely a version of Towne’s Royal Academy exhibit of 1789 (FT557). The inventory of Towne’s effects made at his death lists an impression of this print: “An engraving on copper – from the original Painting by Mr Towne – The Ruins of La Bathia, near Martigny.”1

by Richard Stephens

Footnotes

  1. 1 Devon Record Office, 3459/E36.

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