Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Landscape
  • A small landscape after nature
  • image width 445mm,
  • image length 546mm
  • sheet, recto
  • “1775”
Object Type
Oil painting

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Grant (image); Bury


Untraced apart from its ownership during the early twentieth century by Colonel Maurice Harold Grant (1872–1962). Several of Grant’s pictures were on sale at the gallery of H. M. Luther in 1964.

Associated People & Organisations

[?] H. M. Luther, London, 1964
Colonel Maurice Harold Grant (1872 - 1962)
Exhibition History
[?] The Exhibition of the Royal Academy, Royal Academy of Arts, 1775, no. 313 as 'A small landscape after nature', or 314 as 'A small landscape, its companion'
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 65
Maurice Harold Grant, The Old English Landscape Painters, F. Lewis: Leigh-on-Sea, 1953


Although he made no mention of a signature, judging from Grant’s commentary, it is likely that the work is signed or otherwise decisively identified as Towne’s work. Grant suggested the work, on grounds of its date, size, and genre, was one of the Royal Academy exhibits of 1775, which is feasible. Supposing this to be true, the remaining exhibit, now lost, is here catalogued as FT048. The two exhibits received a favourable review in the London Evening Post: “Abstracted from a pou [sic], we think that Mr Town has countrified these views with some judgement and taste.”1 Walpole judged 313 “good” and 314 “very natural, free and well coloured”.2

The subject of this oil painting is not known, but possibly it is a view of the River Kenn at Powderham, looking towards Exmouth in the distance, as it has a general resemblance to that scenery as depicted by Towne in his large picture of 1777 (FT065), although the far distance is hillier. The study on which this picture is based is no longer known.

by Richard Stephens


  1. 1 London Evening Post, 6 May 1775.
  2. 2 Witt Library, London, transcripts.

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