Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • A View of Lake Maggiore
ca. 1781/08/25
Pencil (?), pen and grey and brown inks, watercolour on wove paper, slight evidence of stitch marks along the top edge
  • image width 155mm,
  • image length 210mm
mounted by the artist on laid paper (the mount measuring 316 x 400mm), pin holes at each corner
  • sheet, recto, lower left
  • “No. 20 / F.Towne delt. 1781”
  • in a neat hand, black ink
  • artist's mount, verso
  • “No.20 / A View of the Lake of Maggiore / Drawn by Francis Towne / August 25, 1781 / Evening Light from the left hand” in brown ink, and in the bottom-right corner, “289”, in very small, thin brown ink
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Christie's records; Bauer 1998 (image)


Presumably bought from the artist by Arthur Champernowne (1768–1819), whose great-grandson Arthur Melville Champernowne (1871–1946; see Comment at FT602) sold it for £29 (with FT298, FT313) at Sotheby’s on 20 May 1936, lot 1, to “Stelfox” (presumably a pseudonym), according to an annotated copy of the sale catalogue in the library of the Courtauld Institute of Art (kindly supplied by Donato Esposito). However, the Art Sales Index also records its sale at Sotheby’s on 9 June 1938 for £26 (with FT298, FT313, FT583) to G. Douglas Thompson of the Palser Gallery of 27 King Street, London. It seems unlikely that both sales took place, although it is not impossible. What is clearer is that it was sold at Sotheby’s on 19 March 1958, lot 33, for £230 to Agnew’s (no.9195), who bought it on behalf of Sir William Worsley, Bt (1890–1973). Worsley’s family sold it at Christie’s on 20 November 1984, lot 71, to Leger Galleries, who sold it to the writer and bibliophile Iola Stetson Haverstick (1924–2002), who bequeathed it in 2003 to its present owner, the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (B2003.9.2).

Associated People & Organisations

Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2003, B2003.9.2
Iola Stetson Haverstick (1924 - 2002)
Leger Galleries, London, 20 November 1984
Christie's, London, London, 20 November 1984, lot 71
Sir William Worsley (1890 - 1973), 19 March 1958
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 19 March 1958, GBP 230, no. 9195
Acquired on behalf of Sir William Worsley
Sotheby's, London, London, 19 March 1958, GBP 230, lot 33
[?] G. Douglas Thompson, London, 9 June 1938, GBP 26
[?] Sotheby's, London, London, 9 June 1938, GBP 26
Sotheby's, London, London, 20 May 1936, GBP 29, lot 1
Sold to “Stelfox” (presumably a pseudonym), according to an annotated copy of the sale catalogue in the library of the Courtauld Institute of Art
Arthur Melville Champernowne (1871 - 1946)
Arthur Harington Champernowne (1768 - 1819), 1781
Bought from the artist
Exhibition History
Exhibition of Original Drawings at the Gallery, No.20 Lower Brook Street, Grosvenor Square, 20 Lower Brook Street, 1805, no. 120, 121 or 122 as 'Lake of Maggiore'
Early English Water Colours, Leeds City Art Gallery, 8 October 1958 to 23 November 1958, no. 96
Sketching at Home and Abroad: British landscape drawings, 1750-1850, Pierpont Morgan Library, 1992, no. 96
Gainsborough to Ruskin: British Landscape Drawings and Watercolours from the Morgan Library, Musee Communal d'Ixelles, 1994, no. 104
Francis Towne, Tate Gallery; Leeds City Art Gallery, 24 June 1997 - 4 January 1998, no. 35
Gerald Bauer, Le Siecle d'Or de L'Aquarelle Anglaise, Biblioth: Paris, 1998, p. 42
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 144
Sir William Worsley, Early English Water-Colours at Hovingham Hall: 1963, p. 15

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