- Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
- A Welsh Scene, Perhaps near Aberddwlas
- Aberddwla in North Wales
- Pencil, pen and ink, watercolour, a little gum on laid paper
- image width 210mm,
- image length 273mm
- mounted by the artist
- sheet, recto, lower left
- “No.8 F.Towne delt 1777”
- artist's mount, verso
- “No8 / A scene near Aberddwla North Wales / drawn on the spot by Francis Towne.”
- in black ink
- sheet, verso, upper centre
- A long and indistinct inscription on the top edge is visible through the sheet
- Object Type
- Catalogue Number
- Description Sources
- Examination; Museum records (image)
Bequeathed by the artist in 1816 to James White of Exeter (1744–1825), on whose death it reverted 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 (BP103). It descended to Mrs E. W. Evans (sister of John Merivale of 54 Eaton Square, London; see also 250), who sold it (with 405, 623) on 1 December 1965 to Agnew’s (no.5731). On 17 January 1966 (March 1966 according to Yale files) Agnew’s sold it for £750 to Paul Mellon (1907–1999), who gave it to the current owner, the Yale Center for British Art (B1975.4.1414; gift to Yale, December 1975).
- Associated People & Organisations
- Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, December 1975
- Mr Paul Mellon (1907 - 1999), 17 January 1966, GBP 750
- Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 1 December 1965, no. 5731
- Mrs E. W. Evans, London
- Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP103
- Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP103
- John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
- James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
- Exhibition History
- [?] Exhibition of Original Drawings at the Gallery, No.20 Lower Brook Street, Grosvenor Square, 20 Lower Brook Street, 1805, no. 24 as 'Aberddwla in North Wales'
- British Watercolor Drawings in the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, 1971, no. 42
- Hon John Byng, The Torrington Diaries, Eyre & Spottiswode: 1934, p. 300
- William Gilpin, Observations on the River Wye and Several Pars of South Wales &c relative chiefly to picturesque beauty, made in the Summer of the Year 1770: London, 1782, p. 72
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There has been confusion over the dating as well as the subject of Towne’s three Aberddwlas drawings. In the Barton Place catalogue two are given the date of 27 June 1777, and the third (FT075) no date. Paul Oppé’s more detailed notes of these drawings give only a date of 23 June for the third sketch, said by the Barton Place catalogue to have no date. The second drawing (FT074) is, however, certainly dated 27 June, and the drawing catalogued here, the first, has no date. As Towne dated his view of Lake Bala 27 June (FT072), Aberddwla would probably be in its vicinity if its date and that of FT074 are to indicate that they were sketched on the same day.
Oppé described BP103 thus: “Aberdwlas No8 Cottage against big hill. Lakes but less effective. . . . [indistinct]”. BP104a was “No.9 Aberdwlas, practically the same size. more distant view of No.8 103 framed No.8 F.Towne delt 1777”.4 It seems safe to identify this and the next drawing, FT074, which is essentially the same scene taken a little further along the road and over the bridge, as BP103 and 104a. A third Aberddwlas drawing (FT075) is BP104b.