attributed to Francis Towne
  • Castle and Waterfall
No date
Pen and ink, watercolour
  • image height 191mm,
  • image width 175mm
  • sheet, verso
  • “F.Merivale”
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Witt Library (image); Leonard Duke’s MS catalogue (British Museum, Department of Prints and Drawings)


Descended through the Merivale family, according to Spink & Son stock cards dated 1949 and 1958, but otherwise untraced until 27 July 1949, when acquired from Helen de Beer by Spink & Son. Just possibly it is BP276 Italian Castle, which prior to 1945 was in the possession of either William Trevelyan Turner (b.1892) or Charles Herman Merivale (b.1879) great-grandchildren of John Herman Merivale. On 11 August 1949 Spink sold it for £30 to Leonard Duke (1889–1971; no.D1869;), who sold it back to Spink on 22 September 1958 for £70. Spink sold it for £115 on 17 November 1958 to a “private UK collector”, whereafter it is untraced. This is probably the watercolour called “A waterfall with a ruined castle”, measuring 7 x 6.75 in. (178 x 171 mm) and having a Duke provenance, that Spink acquired on 21 December 1967 and sold on 4 May 1968 for £495; if so, the stock card records the previous owners as Duke, “Mrs L Beattie”, and “M Whiteley Esq”. See also the Comment at FT757.

Associated People & Organisations

Leonard Duke (1889 - 1971)
Charles Herman Merivale
Spink & Son, London
William Trevelyan Turner


Duke described the drawing’s provenance as “Coll: Merivale” and noted an inscription “Rose Merivale”, present also on several other drawings (see FT389FT511FT514FT577FT580FT611). Spink called it “ex coll F.Merivale” and perhaps therefore it was inscribed in the same way that the other F. Merivale drawing is (FT884), on the basis of which it is perhaps best to consider it the work of Frances Merivale. However, the penwork is vigorous and briskly applied and seem consistent with Towne's own work. If we can take FT884 as being by Frances Merivale, it would seem that this is either not her work or was drawn when she had become a much more assured draughtswoman.

This is an imaginary Italianate landsape, very probably based made for pupils to copy. There is a similar hilltop fort in FT868.

by Richard Stephens

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