Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • The Bowder Stone in Borrowdale
ca. 1786/08
Pencil, watercolour
  • image width 216mm,
  • image length 340mm
  • sheet, verso
  • “Boulderstone in Borrowdale”(?)
  • in pencil
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Paul Oppé notes


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 (BP154). On 12 April 1946 Judith Merivale’s executors sold it to Agnew’s (no.4547), where on 13 September 1946 it was bought for £35 less commission of £1 15s. by Sir John Heathcoat Amory, Bt (1894-1972), who sold it back to Agnew’s (no.4777) on 7 November 1946 for £35. Agnew’s sold it on 13 December 1946 for £42 to Andrew Michael Jaffe (1923–1997), whereafter it is untraced.

Associated People & Organisations

Andrew Michael Jaffé (1923 - 1997), 13 December 1946, GBP 42
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 7 November 1946, GBP 35, no.4777
Sir John Heathcoat Amory (1894 - 1972), 13 September 1946, GBP 35
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 12 April 1946, no.4547
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP154
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP154
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
Paul Oppé, 'Francis Towne, Landscape Painter', The Walpole Society: London, 1920, p. 121


Paul Oppé recorded this as “Boulderstone in Borrowdale, only pencil, inscription on verso”.1 It seems that “only pencil” indicates that the drawing lacks a pen outline, as in his article Oppé refers to Towne’s “two remarkable drawings of the Boulder stone [in which] he works entirely without pen outline, trusting wholly to delicate washes of faint colour. But equally in these cases he attempts nothing but a clear and steady sunlight effect.”2 However, the other drawing (FT509) definitely has a pen outline, albeit less emphatic than in many other cases. Paul Oppé described FT510 as a “stronger outline than Miss B’s [FT509], rather more colour hatching and less light atmosphere”.1

In 1935 Judith Merivale took this drawing to the Victoria and Albert Museum to have it “un-foxed”.4

by Richard Stephens


  1. 1 Paul Oppé records: notes, ca. 1915.
  2. 2 Oppé 1920, p.121.
  3. 3 Paul Oppé records: notes, ca. 1915.
  4. 4 Paul Oppé records: letter, 28 October 1935.

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