Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • The Bowder Stone
  • The Bouder Stone in Burrowdale
ca. 1786
Pencil, pen and ink, watercolour
  • image width 210mm,
  • image length 337mm
  • sheet, verso
  • “Boulderstone in Borrowdale”
  • in pencil, according to Paul Oppé
Object Type

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 granddaughter Emily Harriet Buckingham (1853–1923) inherited the drawing in 1915 and her sister Frances Ann Laura Solly (b.1858) sold it on 28 January 1943 to Agnew’s (no.3423) for £18. The same day it was bought by The Sheffield Town Trust for £25 and the museum’s records state that it was bequeathed by Maleham(?) in 1946 to the current owner Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield (no.2172).

Associated People & Organisations

Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield, Sheffield, 1946, no.2172
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 28 January 1943, no.3423
Frances Ann Laura Solly (1858 - alive in 1932)
Emily Harriet Buckingham (1853 - 1923), 1915
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. 91 or 92 as 'The Bouder Stone in Burrowdale'
[?] Annual Exhibition of Water-Colour & Pencil Drawings, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1936, no. 81
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 136
Paul Oppé, 'Francis Towne, Landscape Painter', The Walpole Society: London, 1920, p. 121
Timothy Wilcox, Francis Towne, Tate Publishing: London, 1997, p. 122


The Bowder Stone is in Borrowdale, just south of Grange and Lodore. This is one of two drawings of the subject (also FT510), in this case showing the south side of the stone. Oppé described this work thus:

Boulderstone in Borrowdale (not signed or dated pencil inscr of title on back) 8½ x 13⅜ [216 x 340 mm] Faint grey & green rock with mountain background. Exquisitely light & tender tinting, good water colour technique. The hills are outlined in pencil. Good example of his pattern with very few details. Feeble in places & probably unfinished (note also abs. of sign.) Figures are characteristically his.1
by Richard Stephens


  1. 1 Paul Oppé records.

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