Francis Towne (1739-1816)
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Francis Towne (1739-1816)

Castello Madamo, above the Anio, near Tivoli

Francis Towne (1739-1816)
Castello Madamo, above the Anio, near Tivoli
signed and dated '1781' (according to an old valuation)
pen and grey ink and watercolour, fragmentary watermark
9¼ x 12¾ in. (23.5 x 32.4 cm.)
J.H. Merivale, and by descent in the family.
C.R.N. Routh.
with Agnew's, London, where purchased by Sir William A. Worsley, September 1949, 125 gns and by descent in the family.
A. Bury, Francis Towne Lone Star of Water-colour Painting, London, 1962, p. 142.
W.A. Worsley, Early English Water-Colours at Hovingham Hall, 1963, no. 58.
York, City of York Art Gallery, Watercolours of Francis Towne, January 1950, no. 18.
Scarborough, Scarborough Art Gallery, English Watercolours from four Yorkshire Houses, June-July 1950, no. 11.
Special notice

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Lot Essay

In March 1781, Towne was in Naples, in the company of Thomas Jones. He returned to Rome in time for the great celebrations surrounding Easter, which that year fell on 15 April. According to the inscriptions on other drawings including distant views of Castello Madamo, he made the excursion out in the direction of this hilltop palace, which lies beyond Tivoli, to the east of Rome, a week later, on 22 April. It appears that Towne made at least six drawings on this day, of which this must be one, although it is not numbered or dated. The drawing numbered ‘1, also not dated, is in the Museum of the Rhode Island School of Design; a drawing dated 22 April, numbered 4 and inscribed 'Looking towards Castello Madamo', in which the palace is seen from further away, was in the collection of Monsieur et Madame Gérald Bauer; Christie's, London, 22 January 2003, lot 7. The present drawing appears to come next in the sequence. The next two, numbered 5 and 6 were drawn on the way to the neighbouring village of Vicovarro, Christie's, London, 11 November 1997, lot 53, and ex-collection L.G. Duke. Towne then appears to have returned to Rome, and made other forays in to the countryside around about before going to Tivoli for a more extended stay at the beginning of May.


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