- Also known as
primary name: Towne, Francis
- individual; painter/draughtsman; British; Male
- Life dates
- Watercolourist, b. London, trained in London as a coach painter before attending St Martin's Lane Academy, later (from c. 1764) lived in Exeter, where was a drawing master, although he spent late spring and summer in London every year and exhibited regularly at the RA and later at the British Institution; returned to London in 1807?. To Switzerland and Italy in 1780-1. Bequeathed Italian albums to BM.
There has been confusion about his date and place of birth, which was resolved by R. Stephens (1996): 'Far from being a native of Devon, Towne was from Isleworth in Middlesex, eight miles west of London. His father, William Towne, was a cornchandler, whose wife was called Lydia. Francis was baptised at All Saints', Isleworth, on 19th August 1739, and seems to have been the youngest child of the family.'
- A.P. Oppé, article in Walpole Society, vol. 8, 1919-20
Adrian Bury, 'Francis Towne', Old Watercolour Society Club, 1961; also exhibition catalogue Marble Hill, 1973.
Timothy Wilcox, 'Francis Towne', exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1997; Richard Stephens, 'A Catalogue of the works of Francis Towne', unpublished Ph.D.thesis, Birkbeck College, London, 2005; and 'New Material for Francis Towne's Biography', The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 138, No. 1121 (Aug., 1996), pp. 500-505; 'Francis Towne's Views of Rome', British Art Journal, X, no. 3, 2010, pp.46-55.
Richard Stephens, A Catalogue Raisonné of Francis Towne (1739-1816), online at http://francistowne.ac.uk/ (published by Paul Mellon Centre for British Art)