Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Lake Windermere from Ambleside
Pencil, pen and brown and grey inks, watercolour with gum
  • image width 151mm,
  • image length 473mm
two sheets
mounted by the artist
  • sheet, recto, lower left
  • “F.Towne / delt. [“1786” partly scratched out]”
  • artist's mount, verso
  • “No.10 / Lake of Windermere looking from Ambleside / drawn by Francis Towne / [“1786” scratched out]”
Object Type

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 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 (BP144) and on 12 March 1921 sold it via Agnew’s (no.9929) for £52 10s. to the current owner, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (1921P60).

Associated People & Organisations

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, 12 March 1921, GBP 52.10s, 1921P60
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 12 March 1921, no.9929
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP144
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP144
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
Exhibition of Selected Watercolour Drawings by Artists of the Early English School, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1921, no. 35
Catalogue of a collection of pictures, drawings, furniture and works of art of the Empire and Regency period : select examples of Romano-British art, Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1929, no. 29
Watercolours from the Birmingham Art Gallery, Worthing Art Gallery, 1960, no. 15
Peintures et Aquarelles 1700-1900 du Musee de Birmingham, Musee des Beaux-Arts, Lyon, 1966, no. 123
Two Centuries of English Painting, National Gallery, Prague; National Slovak Gallery, Bratislava, 1969, no. 134
British Watercolours 1760-1930 from the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Arts Council of Great Britain, 1980, no. 13
The Discovery of the Lake District, Victoria & Albert Museum, 1984, no. 83
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 134
Samuel Taylor Coleridge ed. Roger Hudson, Coleridge Among the Lakes and Mountains, Folio Society: London, 1991, pp. 50-51


This is a view of the head of Windermere, showing buildings at Waterhead in the mid-distance. The Old Man of Coniston looms prominently in the right background.

by Richard Stephens

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