- Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
- Exeter from Exwick
- Oil on canvas
- image width 1164mm,
- image length 1631mm
- canvas, verso
- formerly signed and dated
- Object Type
- Oil painting
- 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 John White Abbott (1763–1851), who presented it in September 1826 to the Devon and Exeter Institution, from whom it was purchased in 1961 by the present owner, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter (10/1961).
- Associated People & Organisations
- Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter, 1961
- Devon and Exeter Institution, Exeter, September 1826
- John White Abbott (1763 - 1851), 1825
- James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
- Exhibition History
- Pictures, Models, Designs in Architecture, Drawings, Prints: Exhibited at their New Room near Exeter Exchange, Society of Artists of Great Britain, April 1773, no. 328 as 'A large landscape'
- [?] Works of British artists placed in the Gallery of the British Institution, Pall-Mall for exhibition and Sale, British Institution, 1810
- Loan Exhibition of Works by Early Devon Painters Born Before the Year 1800, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, 1932, no. 18
- Three Exeter Artists of the Eighteenth Century: Francis Hayman RA, Francis Towne, John White Abbott, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, 1951, no. 85
- Paintings and Drawings by Francis Towne and John White Abbott in the collection of Exeter Museums and Art Gallery, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, 1971, no. 1
- Early Devon Painters: Forty Years On, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, 1972, no. 51
- Francis Towne & John White Abbott: Paintings and Watercolours from the Exeter Museums and Art Gallery, Marble Hill House, 1973, no. 1
- Jane C. Baker, Catalogue of Oil Paintings, Watercolours, Drawings and Sculpture, Exeter Museums: Exeter, 1978, p. 117
- Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, pp. 20-21, 61, 63, 133
- Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, Literature and Art, Fourth Report on Works of Art In Devonshire in Transactions of the Devonshire Association: Plymouth, 1883, p. 129
- A. Goodwin, Exeter and Its Region, ed. Frank Barlow, British Association for the Advancement of Science (Exeter Local Executive Committee): Exeter, 1969, p. 340
- Luke Herrmann, British Landscape Painting of the 18th Century, Faber: London, 1973, p. 75
- Paul Oppé, 'Francis Towne, Landscape Painter', The Walpole Society: London, 1920, pp. 100-102, 104
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It may seem odd to propose that Towne showed this work in 1810, but in 1805 he had already shown many drawings made in 1777, and all his British Institution exhibits until this point seem to have been redisplays of old works. Certainly in the 1803 letter Towne recalled with pride that in the late 1760s and early 1770s he had “painted several views from drawings after nature, and some of these pictures were of a large size”, and alone of his really early works, this remained in Towne’s possession at his death over forty years after its creation. The 1810 exhibit received very warm praise from a reviewer of the “British Press”, writing on 10 April 1810. The review started by remarking how much progress the arts have made among enlightened patrons willing to reward talent with money, but at the same time stating that there was still a long way to go. He describes and praises at length a picture by “Cook”, ending thus:
One indication that Towne continued to work on this picture long after the 1773 exhibition is the presence of what must be Sir Robert Palk’s tower on the top of Haldon Hill at the far right of the picture. Palk erected this in memory of his friend General Lawrence in 1788.