Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • A View taken at Geneva where the Rhone comes from the Lake under the Bridge
Pencil, pen and black ink, watercolour, gum
  • image width 208mm,
  • image length 272mm
mounted by the artist
  • sheet, recto
  • lower left “F.Towne.delt.”
  • artist's mount, verso
  • “No.1 / A View taken at Geneva where the Rhone comes from the Lake under the Bridge drawn on the Spot by / Francis Towne / 1780[in dark brown ink] / evening sun from the left Hand”
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Author's examination of the object


Bequeathed by the artist in 1816 to James White of Exeter (1744–1825), who gave it in 1816 to the present owner, the British Museum, London (1972.U.599/Nn,1.1a).

Associated People & Organisations

British Museum
James White (1744 - 1825)
Exhibition History
[?] Exhibition of Original Drawings at the Gallery, No.20 Lower Brook Street, Grosvenor Square, 20 Lower Brook Street, 1805, no. 102 as 'A View at Geneva'
Francis Towne, Tate Gallery; Leeds City Art Gallery, 24 June 1997 - 4 January 1998, no. 15
Light, time, legacy: Francis Towne’s watercolours of Rome, British Museum, 2016
Laurence Binyon, Catalogue of Drawings by British Artists and Artists of Foreign Origin Working in Great Britain Preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, Trustees of the British Museum: London, 1907, p. 198
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, pp. 31, 73, 123
Paul Oppé, 'Francis Towne, Landscape Painter', The Walpole Society: London, 1920, p. 109


This is a view from the window of the inn Les Balances d’Or, where Towne probably stayed. Towne’s friend William Jackson drew the same view on his visit to Geneva in 1785 with James White (see FT893).

by Richard Stephens

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