One of the leading animal painters of his period, Charles Towne's works are also admired for their distant landscapes, rendered with delicacy and detail.
Born in Wigan, he received his first knowledge of landscape painting from the Lancashire artist, John Rathbone and a training in coach painting from the Liverpool coachbuilder, Robert Latham. By 1780, Towne had set up as a japanner and decorative painter in Liverpool and he exhibited his first picture at the Liverpool Society for Promoting the Arts of Painting and Design in 1786. By the 1790s, he had established his reputation as an accomplished animal painter and after spending a few years in Manchester, moved to London during the 1800s. In London, Towne befriended Morland and de Loutherbourg, whose romanticized rural subjects influenced his own early work. He returned to Liverpool in 1810 and became a member of the Liverpool Academy, where he exhibited regularly and was elected Vice-President.