Description
Creator
Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
Title(s)
  • The Bay of Naples
Date
ca. 1781/03
Medium
Pencil, pen and grey ink, grey wash
Dimensions
  • image height 234mm,
  • image length 318mm
Support
paper watermarked with a fleur de list within a coronet design
Inscription
  • sheet, verso
  • “Bay of Naples / 21” in black ink and "Francis Towne" in brown ink
Object Type
Monochrome wash

Collection
Catalogue Number
FT245
Description Sources
Author's examination of the work

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 (BP34). Judith Merivale sold it to Squire Gallery in August 1936 for £4 10s., from where Sir Bruce Sterling Ingram (1877–1963) probably bought it, as he owned the drawing by 1937. Ingram retained the drawing until his death, when it was acquired by the present owner, the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (no.1821).

Associated People & Organisations

Ashmolean Museum
Sir Bruce Stirling Ingram (1877 - 1963)
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844)
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945)
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928)
Squire Gallery
James White (1744 - 1825)
Exhibition History
Masters of Maritime Art. A Second Loan Exhibition from the Collection of Capt. Bruce S. Ingram OBE MC, P&D Colnaghi, London, 1937, no. 45
English Drawings Purchased from the Collection of Sir Bruce Ingram, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 1963, no. 92
Original Eyes, Tate Gallery, London, 1991
Bibliography
David Blaney Brown, Ashmolean Museum Catalogue of Drawings Vol 4: Earlier English Drawings, Clarendon: Oxford, 1982, p. 628
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 144
Luke Herrmann, British Landscape Painting of the 18th Century, Faber: London, 1973, p. 77

Comment

In his catalogue of the Ashmolean collection, Brown sees in Towne's thin band of land on the horizon “a general impression of harbour buildings (perhaps a distant view of Naples from the south east)”.

by Richard Stephens

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