Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • A View of the River Dee above Llangollen
Pen and ink, grey wash
  • image width 285mm,
  • image length 470mm
  • artist's mount, verso
  • “Painted this subject for James White Esquire, of Exeter in the County of Devon, No.41, July 17th 1777. Sun in the middle. A view of the River Dee above Llangollen drawn on the spot by Francis Towne. A copy of this for Lady Acland, December 28th, 1785”
  • according to Agnew’s
Object Type
Monochrome wash

A View of the River Dee above Llangollen
A view on the banks of the Dee above Llangollen
Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; Sotheby'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 (BP122). Judith Merivale sold it in August 1933 for £8 to Miss Emily Norrie (1891?–1973) of Pequot Avenue, New London, Connecticut. On 21 April 1971 it was sold at Parke Benet, New York, lot 183 (a pair with View in Cumberland—see section 8, “References to Unidentifiable Works”), for $200 to Agnew’s (no.0595), who sold it on 15 January 1973 to a private collector, who sold it back to Agnew’s (no.2984) on 21 January 1974. Agnew’s sold it to another collector and the drawing was sold or offered for sale at Sotheby’s on 18 July 1974, lot 163. It was sold at Phillips on 21 March 1977, lot 55, for £250 to Agnew’s (no.5328), who sold it on 22 January 1979 to a private collection, who sold it in May 1996 at Sotheby’s, Hadspen House. In 2008 it was on sale at Lowell Libson.

Associated People & Organisations

Private Collection
Lowell Libson, London, 2008
Sotheby's, London, Castle Cary, Somerset, May 1996
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 21 March 1977, GBP 250, no.5328
Phillips, 21 March 1977, lot 55
Sotheby's, London, London, 18 July 1974, lot 163
Private Collection
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 21 January 1974, no.2984
Private Collection, 15 January 1973
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 21 April 1971, USD 200, no. 0595
Parke Benet Galleries, New York, 21 April 1971, lot 183
Emily Norrie (1891 - 1973), New London, Connecticut, August 1933, GBP 8
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP122
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP122
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
100th Annual Exhibition of Watercolours and Drawings, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1973, no. 26
102nd Annual Exhibition of Watercolours and Drawings, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1975, no. 8



Oppé’s note reads: “123. 8½ x 10¾ [216 x 273 mm] Scene on Banks of the Dee date on front erased [. . .] crumble outline, full green & yellow. Green brushed water, much gum & brush hatching. Yellow and red lurid sky. Heavy shadows.”1 This was probably drawn on 17 July 1777, as four of Towne’s Dee Valley views bear that date.

by Richard Stephens


  1. 1 Paul Oppé records: notes, ca. 1915.

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