Description
Creator
Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
Title(s)
  • Walls (?)of Rome
Date
ca. 1780 - 1781
Medium
Pencil, pen and brown ink, watercolour
Dimensions
  • image height 153mm,
  • image length 211mm
Mount
mounted by the artist
Object Type
Watercolour

Collection
Catalogue Number
FT228
Description Sources
Examination; Museum records (image)

Provenance

Untraced until sold anonymously at Foster’s on 27 July 1910, lot 151 (a group with FT228, FT257, FT283, FT284, FT296, FT310, FT318, FT319, FT325, FT326, FT327, FT329, FT330, FT339, FT340, FT361, FT793, and FT862), for 25s. to Paul Oppé (1878–1957; no.42), whose descendants sold it in 1996 with the rest of Oppé’s collection to the present owner, the Tate Gallery (T8566).

Associated People & Organisations

Tate, London, 1996, T8566
Adolph Paul Oppé (1878 - 1957), London, 27 July 1910, GBP 25s, no.42
Foster's auctioneers (1883 - 1940), 27 July 1910, lot 151
Sold in a group with FT228, FT257, FT283, FT284, FT296, FT310, FT318, FT319, FT325, FT326, FT327, FT329, FT330, FT339, FT340, FT361, FT793 and a drawing by an unidentified pupil
Exhibition History
Forty Drawings of Roman Scenes by British Artists (1715-1850) from Originals in the British Museum in the Esposizione internationale di Belle Arti, 1911, no. 48
76th Annual Exhibition of Water-Colour Drawings, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1949, no. 22
Exhibition of Works from The Paul Oppe Collection, Royal Academy, 1958, no. 95

Comment

Roman walls with overhanging foliage were a popular subject for British artists and with Towne, who drew another example at FT176, but the title is traditional and not based on an inscription. With the long shadows and orange sky, Towne is suggesting an evening view. The washline mount is thin and weak, as are the figures, indicating that the drawing was finished and mounted late in Towne’s life.

This drawing comes from the group that Oppé bought in 1910 and catalogued as “English landscapes, various”.1

by Richard Stephens

Footnotes

  1. 1 The Times, 15 March 1958.

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