Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Frascati
Pencil (?), pen and ink, grey wash
  • image width 216mm,
  • image length 317mm
  • verso
  • “No.57 Duke de Braciana. Frescati / Francis Towne / 1781”
  • partly visible through the recto
Object Type
Monochrome wash

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Paul Oppé notes; Examination (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 (BP19). On 28 January 1937 Judith Merivale sold the drawing to Agnew’s (no.2289) for £30 with FT038, FT039, FT042, FT062, FT379, and FT438. On 24 June 1940 it was bought there for £10 by Professor John Malins (1915–1992; no.10176).

Associated People & Organisations

Private Collection
Professor John Malins (1915 - 1992), 24 June 1940, GBP 10, no.10176
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 28 January 1937, GBP 30 , no.2289
With FT038, FT039, FT042, FT062, FT379 and FT438.
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP19
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP19
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
[?] 67th Annual Exhibition of Water-Colour and Pencil Drawings, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1940, no. 133 as 'Frascati (1781)'
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 150
Timothy Wilcox, Francis Towne, Tate Publishing: London, 1997, p. 86


This is a drawing of or near Villa Grazioli, between 1683 to 1843 the Frascati property of the Odescalchi family, the Dukes of Bracciano. Now a hotel, it is noted for its views of Rome, distantly visible in Towne’s drawing through the right-hand trees.

Oppé’s note reads: “No57 F.T.1781 Duke de Braciana Frescati [BP]19. fine paper as [BP]13 [i.e. FT266] Pure crumble slight wash. Might be Devon or [. . .] Light wash. flat comp. Purposeless[?] trees.”1 The drawing shows the mark of Towne’s thumb in the wash.

by Richard Stephens


  1. 1 Paul Oppé records: notes, ca. 1915.

Revisions & Feedback

The website will be updated from time to time and, when changes are made, a PDF of the previous version of each page will be archived here for consultation and citation.

Please help us to improve this catalogue

If you have information, a correction or any other suggestions to improve this catalogue, please contact us.