Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Near Glarus
ca. 1781/09/01
Pencil, pen and grey ink, grey wash
  • image width 288mm,
  • image length 467mm
paper with stitching marks along the top edge
  • sheet, verso
  • “No.24. Near Glaris, light from the right hand in the evening / In the Canton of Glaris near the town of Glaris evening light from the right hand Septr. 1st. 1781”
  • the first line in pen, the second in pencil
Object Type
Monochrome wash

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 grand daughters Maria Sophia Merivale (1853–1928) and Judith Ann Merivale (1860–1945), both of Oxford, inherited the drawing in May 1915 (BP69). On 24 May 1921 they sold it to Agnew’s (no.9950) for £12 for onward sale the same day (for £350 with FT072, FT074, FT086, FT108, FT111, FT237, FT260, FT469, FT504) to the present owner, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (Inv. 96'21).

Associated People & Organisations

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, 24 May 1921, GBP 350, Inv. 96'21
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 24 May 1921, GBP 12, no.9950
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP69
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP69
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
Watercolours from the Birmingham Art Gallery, Worthing Art Gallery, 1960, no. 17
unidentified exhibition, Fermoy Art Gallery, 1964
Peintures et Aquarelles 1700-1900 du Musee de Birmingham, Musee des Beaux-Arts, Lyon, 1966, no. 118
Two Centuries of English Painting, National Gallery, Prague; National Slovak Gallery, Bratislava, 1969, no. 137
British Watercolours 1760-1930 from the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Arts Council of Great Britain, 1980, no. 22
Wordsworth and the Alps, Wordsworth Trust, 1990
British Watercolours from Birmingham, Tokyo and tour, 1991, no. 31
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 135


This drawing depicts the bridge on the Linth at Netstal, using the same viewpoint as in a picture by Heinrich Thomann.1 John “Warwick” Smith’s treatment of the mid-1780s is dated 1785 (National Trust, Wallington Hall).

by Richard Stephens


  1. 1 Maggi & Navone 2003.

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