Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • In a Wood near Albano
Pencil (?), pen and grey wash
  • image width 320mm,
  • image length 446mm
paper with a vertical crease down its centre and mounted by the artist
  • sheet, recto, lower right
  • “F Towne delt / 1781”
  • artist's mount, verso
  • “Taken in a Wood near Albano 1781”
Object Type
Monochrome wash

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; 1997 Tate Oppé catalogue (image)


Untraced until sold anonymously at Foster’s on 27 July 1910, lot 151 (a group with FT228, FT257, FT283, FT284, FT296, FT310, FT318, FT319, FT325, FT326, FT327, FT329, FT330, FT339, FT340, FT361, FT793, FT862), for 25s. to Paul Oppé (1878–1957; no.39). His descendants sold it in 1996 with the rest of Oppé’s collection to the present owner, the Tate Gallery, London (T08184).

Associated People & Organisations

Tate, London, 1996, T08184
Adolph Paul Oppé (1878 - 1957), 27 July 1910, GBP 25s, no.39
Foster's auctioneers (1883 - 1940), 27 July 1910, lot 151
Sold as a group with FT228, FT257, FT283, FT284, FT296, FT310, FT318, FT319, FT325, FT326, FT327, FT329, FT330, FT339, FT340, FT361, FT793 and a drawing by an unidentified pupil.
Exhibition History
76th Annual Exhibition of Water-Colour Drawings, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1949, no. 30
Three Exeter Artists of the Eighteenth Century: Francis Hayman RA, Francis Towne, John White Abbott, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, 1951, no. 40
Early English Drawings and Watercolours from the Collection of Paul Oppe Esq., Graves Art Gallery, 1952, no. 62
Exhibition of Works from The Paul Oppe Collection, Royal Academy, 1958, no. 94
British Watercolours from the Oppé Collection, Tate Gallery, 1997, no. 34
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 146
Henri Lemaitre, Le Paysage Anglais a l'Aquarelle 1760-1951, Bordas: Paris, 1955, pp. 153, 157
Thomas Jones ed. Paul Oppé, 'Memoirs of Thomas Jones', The Walpole Society: London, 1951, p. 66


Thomas Jones noted in his memoir: “About Frescati, Albano, Castello, L’aricci, Gensano &c are to be seen Groves & Walks of the finest and most luxuriant forest Trees imaginable.”1 Although this drawing is undated, presumably it dates from Towne’s visit to Albano in July 1781. Its heavy washes are reminiscent of the two Villa Barberini views (FT222, FT223).

by Richard Stephens


  1. 1 Jones 1951, p.66.

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