- Museum number
At Tivoli, formerly part of an album; wooded hills round a valley, a building with a tower to left at the bottom of the valley. 1781
Watercolour, with pen and grey ink
- Production date
Height: 385 millimetres
Width: 500 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- From album NN,02.1-32
See Nn,1.1 for information about the Towne albums as a whole.
The following label was written by Richard Stephens for the Towne exhibition in 2016:
Throughout the 1790s and early 1800s Towne maintained his campaign to win associate membership of the Royal Academy, until he finally accepted defeat in 1803. In order to comply with the Academy's rules, during these years he always exhibited oil paintings rather than watercolours. In 1800 Towne selected for exhibition a version in oil of this view of Tivoli, giving it the title 'View at Tivoli - morning'.
In 1805 having turned his back on the Academy, Towne independently organised a retrospective show of his life's work, in which this watercolour was exhibit 149, titled 'In a Wood of Olives at Tivoli'.
Artists who, like Towne, worked chiefly in watercolour suffered from the Academy's preference for oil paintings. In 1805 they split away to form the Society of Painters in Water Colour, which began to organise its own annual exhibition. If Towne's exhibition was designed to make a statement about his place in the recent history of watercolours, it could hardly have been better timed or situated. It took place only few weeks before the Society's inaugural show, and in the same gallery they used.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2016, Jan-Aug, BM, 'Light, Time, Legacy: Francis Towne's watercolours of Rome' (no catalogue)
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: 1972,U.621