Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • A Wharf
ca. 1797
Pencil, pen and brown ink, grey wash
  • image width 273mm,
  • image length 223mm
the paper has a horizontal fold mark 83 mm from the bottom and has a blank portion folded away at the top, making its size 369 x 223 mm; it is watermarked “TW 1794”
Object Type
Monochrome wash

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 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 (BP255, A Shed). In 1930 Judith Merivale sold it to Norman Darnton Lupton (1875–1953) of Hyde Crook, Dorchester, Dorset. Agnes Lupton (1874–1950) and Norman Lupton bequeathed it to the current owner, Leeds City Art Gallery (13.202/53).

Associated People & Organisations

Leeds City Art Gallery, Leeds, 1953, 13.202/53
Agnes Lupton (1874 - 1950), Dorchester, 1930
Norman Darnton Lupton (1875 - 1953), Dorchester, 1930
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP255, A Shed
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP255, A Shed
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Leeds City Art Gallery, Leeds Art Calendar, No. 26: Leeds, 1954, p.x.
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 132


This is very probably a view on the Thames in west London made in the summer of 1797. The breadth of the river makes it likely that it is a scene on the Thames, and the buildings on the far bank are handled in the same way as comparable views drawn in 1797 (such as FT595 and FT596). Probably Towne drew this intending to use it as the right-hand foreground element in a wider composition, which would have served as a contrast with a view of the buildings on the far bank (such as FT595). The Courtauld’s Millbank watercolour (FT596) is a view of this type.

by Richard Stephens

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