Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • On the Banks of the Dee near Llangollen
  • Banks of the Dee near Llangollen, N.Wales, 1777 Ex Merivale
  • Banks of the Dee
Pen and ink, watercolour
  • image width 260mm,
  • image length 299mm
mounted by the artist
  • sheet, verso, lower right
  • “No43 / F.Towne delt July 17 1777”
  • artist's mount, recto
  • “On the Banks of the River Dee near Llangollen, North Wales 1777”
  • sheet, recto, lower right
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Tate catalogue (image); Agnew’s records; Spink records


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 (BP124). In 1936 it was for sale at the Fine Art Society where it was sold on 9 July 1936 to Kennedy North(?) for £36 15s. It was probably the Banks of the Dee near Llangollen 1777, with the same dimensions as this drawing, sold by the dealer Percy Moore Turner (1877–1950) at Christie’s on 7 March 1947, lot 100, to Sersheim (Gersheim?) for £50 8s. (alternatively FT101). By 1951 it was owned by Mrs E. M. Young, as she sold the drawing that year to Spink, where it was bought the following day by Mrs T. R. C. Blofield for £150. In 1962 Bury noted it in the collection of “T R C Blofeld”.

Associated People & Organisations

T. R. C. Blofeld, 1951, GBP 150
It was bought by Mrs T. R. C. Blofeld from Spink. In 1962 Bury noted it in the collection of "T R C Blofeld"
Spink & Son, London, London, 1951
Mrs E. M. Young, 1951
[?] Gersheim [Sersheim?], 7 March 1947, GBP 50.8s
Christie's, London, London, 7 March 1947, lot 100
sold to Sersheim [?Gersheim],
[?] Percy Moore Turner (1877 - 1950)
Kennedy North [?], London, 9 July 1936, GBP 36.15s
The Fine Art Society, London, London, 1936
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP124
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP124
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
[?] Exhibition of Original Drawings at the Gallery, No.20 Lower Brook Street, Grosvenor Square, 20 Lower Brook Street, 1805, no. 27, 28, 29 or 43 as 'Banks of the Dee'
An Exhibition of Early English Water-Colour Drawings, Fine Art Society, 1936, no. 49 as 'Banks of the Dee near Llangollen, N.Wales, 1777, ex Merivale'
Francis Towne, Tate Gallery; Leeds City Art Gallery, 24 June 1997 - 4 January 1998, no. 9
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 151
Paul Oppé, 'Francis Towne, Landscape Painter', The Walpole Society: London, 1920, p. 108


This view was probably drawn on 17 July 1777, the date given to four sketches of the banks of the Dee, out of seven made in the area (FT099, FT100, FT101, FT102, FT103, FT104, FT105). The four whose images are known all show long shadows and were evidently drawn, as was this example, as the sun was going down.

The verso inscription given above comes from Wilcox, who exhibited this drawing as “On the Banks of the River Dee near Llangollen, North Wales 1777” and stated it was inscribed “with title”; however, the Spink stock card records a slightly different inscription: “No.43 On the banks of the River Dee near Llangollen, North Wales, drawn by Francis Towne”.


by Richard Stephens

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