Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • View going over Mount Splugen
ca. 1784 - 1785
Pencil, watercolour
  • image width 495mm,
  • image length 580mm
  • sheet, recto, lower left
  • “Francis Towne delt 1784 [and indistinctly “Francis . . .1785”]”
  • sheet, verso
  • “View going over Mount Splugen Drawn by Francis Towne 1785”
Object Type

Waterfall between Chiavenna and Mount Splugen
A View going from the Head of Lake Como over Mount Splugen
Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Museum records (image)


Untraced until 16 July 1947 when R. J. Aldridge sold it to Colnaghi (no.A14637), who sold it on 18 July 1947 (17 July according to Gilbert Davis’s record) for £90 to Gilbert Davis (1899–1983), who sold it in 1959 to the current owner, Huntingdon Library (59.55.1273).

Associated People & Organisations

Huntington Library, San Marino, California, San Marino, 1959, 59.55.1273
Gilbert Davis (1899 - 1983), 18 July 1947, GBP 90
P&D Colnaghi & Co, London, 16 July 1947
R. J. Aldridge
Exhibition History
Three Exeter Artists of the Eighteenth Century: Francis Hayman RA, Francis Towne, John White Abbott, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, 1951, no. 24
Gilbert Davis Collection (2nd Series), Arts Council, 1955, no. 68
British Landscape Drawings and Watercolours 1750-1850: Twenty Four Examples from The Huntingdon Collection, Huntingdon Library, 1981, no. 7
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 139
Timothy Wilcox, Francis Towne, Tate Publishing: London, 1997, p. 133


This is a version of FT355 (see also FT417) and is probably the drawing to which Alan Clutton-Brock was referring when he reviewed the 1955 exhibition of Gilbert Davis’s watercolours at the Arts Council:

A second choice of eighty British watercolour drawings from the collection of Mr Gilbert Davis has been arranged by the Arts Council at 4 St. James’s Square; the first eighty were shown five years ago. There are now many obviously important works. . . . [The exhibits include] a large Francis Towne which makes one wonder whether the esteem in which this artist has recently been held is not rather exaggerated.1

by Richard Stephens


  1. 1 The Listener, 13 October 1955, p.612; via the Listener Historical Archive, accessed 11 August 2014.

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.