Berchem Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Sheep
No date
Pen and ink, watercolour
  • image height 184mm,
  • image length 136mm
mounted by the artist
  • artist's mount, verso
  • signed
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Baskett & Day catalogue; 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 (BP274 Copy of (?) Berghem. F.T. in the Compositions group). On 12 April 1946 Judith Merivale’s executors sold the drawing to Agnew’s (no.4559), who offered it for sale by auction at Puttick & Simpson on 27 December 1946. The drawing was on sale at Baskett & Day in 1974, and it was sold at Christie’s on 18 March 1980, lot 18, for £1,200, whereafter it is untraced.

Associated People & Organisations

Private Collection, 18 March 1980, GBP 1200
Christie's, London, London, 18 March 1980, lot 18
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 12 April 1946, no.4559
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP274
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP274
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
[?] Early English Drawings by Francis Towne and John White Abbott, Oxford Arts Club, 1931
Exhibition of Twenty Landscape Drawings by Early English Artists, Baskett & Day, 1974, no. 8


This is apparently an idealised landscape in emulation of Nicholaes Berchem (1620–1683), one of the Dutch Italianates whose etchings of animal subjects were well known in Towne’s day. Another study of sheep, FT641, has not been photographed.

by Richard Stephens

Revisions & Feedback

The website will be updated from time to time and, when changes are made, a PDF of the previous version of each page will be archived here for consultation and citation.

Please help us to improve this catalogue

If you have information, a correction or any other suggestions to improve this catalogue, please contact us.