Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • The Baths of Caracalla
Pencil, pen and brown ink, grey/brown wash
  • image width 474mm,
  • image length 320mm
laid paper, with a horizontal crease across its centre, and watermarked with a design of a shield and fleur de lys, with the letters "GR"
  • sheet, verso
  • “Rome No.36 / Baths of Caracalla light from the right hand / 1781 / Francis Towne”
Object Type
Monochrome wash

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Author's examination of the object

Notebooks and papers of Paul Oppé (1878-1957), private collection


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 (BP25). Judith Merivale sold it in April 1930 for £8 to Norman Darnton Lupton (1875–1953) of Hyde Crook, Dorchester, Dorset. Agnes Lupton (1874–1950) and Norman Lupton bequeathed it to the present owner, Leeds City Art Gallery (13.210/53).

Associated People & Organisations

Leeds City Art Gallery
Agnes Lupton (1874 - 1950)
Norman Darnton Lupton (1875 - 1953)
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844)
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945)
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928)
James White (1744 - 1825)
Exhibition History
The Lupton Collection, Leeds City Art Gallery, 1972, no. 80
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, pp. 76, 131
Leeds City Art Gallery, Leeds Art Calendar, No. 26: Leeds, 1954, no. 26
Timothy Wilcox, Francis Towne, Tate Publishing: London, 1997, p. 69


Paul Oppé’s note of this drawing reads: “25 Same size [as FT292 and FT293] Fleur de lys in sheild G.R. No date. Caracalla in loose ind ink only. Very faint pen(?) outline. Outlined clouds.”1 

This is one of four drawings of the Baths of the Caracalla (the others are FT202FT203FT205) and the only one that Towne did not colour and mount, and therefore James White did not donate it to the British Museum. The round tower at the left of the drawing is the fortified tomb of Cecilia Metella.

by Richard Stephens


  1. 1 Paul Oppé records: notes, ca. 1915.

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.