Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Tree Study
No date
Pen and ink, watercolour
  • image width 371mm,
  • image length 218mm
two sheets with a Whatman watermark
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Christie’s records (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 (probably BP244). On 3 August 1945 Judith Merivale sold it to Agnew’s (no.4193) for £15 and it was bought there on 29 October 1945 for £40 less commission of £2 by Sir William Worsley, Bt (1890–1973), whose family sold it at Christie’s on 20 November 1984, lot 77, for £9,180 to Spink & Son, from whom it was acquired on 16 April 1985 for £11,500 by the current owner, the University of Liverpool.

Associated People & Organisations

Victoria Gallery & Museum, University of Liverpool, 16 April 1985, GBP 11500
Christie's, London, London, 20 November 1984, GBP 9180, lot 77
Sir William Worsley (1890 - 1973), 29 October 1945, GBP 40
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 3 August 1945, GBP 15, no.4193
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, probably BP244
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, probably BP244
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
Catalogue of a collection of pictures, drawings, furniture and works of art of the Empire and Regency period : select examples of Romano-British art, Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1929, no. 19
[?] Early English Drawings by Francis Towne and John White Abbott, Oxford Arts Club, 1931, no. 13 as 'Study of Trees, BP244'
Watercolours by Francis Towne, City Art Gallery, 1950, no. 5
[?] 77th Annual Exhibition of Water-Colour Drawings, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1950, no. 113
Three Centuries of British Water-colours, Arts Council, 1951, no. 193
Landscape in Britain, ca. 1750-1850, Tate Gallery, 1973, no. 104
Paul Oppé, 'Francis Towne, Landscape Painter', The Walpole Society: London, 1920, p. 125 (?)
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 141
Sir William Worsley, Early English Water-Colours at Hovingham Hall: 1963, p. 9


See the Comment at FT624. This drawing, which seems to depict a yew tree, was described as “Tree The Avenue 1800” in Agnew’s Drawing Book.

by Richard Stephens

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