Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Tour de Peilz, Vevey
  • A View of Vevey with La Tour de Peilz in the Distance
Pencil, pen and black ink
  • image width 250mm,
  • image length 325mm
laid paper indistinctly watermarked
  • sheet, recto
  • indications of “stone” and initials in pencil
  • sheet, verso
  • “No. 7 / Vevey Sept. 20 1781 / Francis Towne / la Tour de Pie” in brown ink and “All the tops of the buildings darker than the lake”
  • in brown ink over pencil
Object Type
Outline only

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
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 granddaughters Maria Sophia Merivale (1853–1928) and Judith Ann Merivale (1860–1945), both of Oxford, inherited the drawing in May 1915 (BP87). By 1962 (and presumably as early as 1949, as Worsley 1963 states it was exhibited at York then) it had been acquired by Sir William Worsley, Bt (1890–1973), who sold it on 2 October 1969 to Agnew’s (no.9669) with 485. On 26 January 1970 Agnew’s sold it to a private collector who sold it back to Agnew’s (no.7482) on 21 October 1980. On 21 December 1981 Agnew’s sold it to William B. O’Neal of Charlottesville, who gave it in 1995 to the current owner, the National Gallery of Art, Washington (1995.52.179).

Associated People & Organisations

NGA, Washington, Washington D.C., 1995, 1995.52.179
William B. O'Neal, Charlottesville, Virginia, 21 December 1981
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 21 October 1980, no.7482
Private Collection, 26 January 1970
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 2 October 1969, no.9669
Acquired with FT485
Sir William Worsley (1890 - 1973)
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP87
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP87
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
108th Annual Exhibition of Watercolours and Drawings, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1981, no. 4 as 'Vevey'
Drawings from the O'Neal Collection, National Gallery of Art, 1993, no. 35
Drawings from the O'Neal Collection, Georgia Museum of Art, The University of Georgia, 1996
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 142
Sir William Worsley, Early English Water-Colours at Hovingham Hall: 1963, p. 11, as Vevey
Timothy Wilcox, Francis Towne, Tate Publishing: London, 1997, p. 90


Tour de Peilz is a village adjacent to Vevey. The sketch looks over the village to the entrance of the Rhône valley, which is lightly indicated by mountain outlines. It seems fairly clear that this is the left portion of a panoramic view of Lake Geneva.

by Richard Stephens

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