Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • In the Villa Mondragone, Frascati
Pencil, pen and grey ink, grey wash
  • image width 223mm,
  • image length 322mm
paper watermarked indistinctly
  • sheet, verso
  • “No.59 / In the Villa Dragona / Frescati / Francis Towne / 1781”
Object Type
Monochrome wash

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; Christie's 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 (BP21). Judith Merivale sold it to Squire Gallery in January 1936 for £4 10s. Thereafter it is untraced until its sale at Christie’s on 9 April 1991, lot 23. Either this or FT287 is the drawing Wilcox described in 1997 as being “in a London private collection”. On 3 November 1997 this drawing was bought by Spink, who sold it on 10 July 2001 for £6,200. It was bought there by a private collector who remained the owner in 2011.

Associated People & Organisations

Private Collection, 10 July 2001, GBP 6200
Spink & Son, London, London, 3 November 1997
Private Collection, London
Christie's, London, London, 9 April 1991, lot 23
Squire Gallery, London, January 1936, GBP 4.10s
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP21
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP21
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Timothy Wilcox, Francis Towne, Tate Publishing: London, 1997, p. 86


Thumb marks at the bottom edge of the sheet suggest that the wash may have been applied on the spot, or otherwise hastily. The length of shadows suggests that this was a late afternoon view.

by Richard Stephens

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