The Easel

The greats outdoors: the pioneering Lakeland landscapes of Francis Towne

Towne mostly avoided London, building a small regional following. Attempts at election to the Royal Academy were unsuccessful and, when he died in 1816, that was that. An art scholar in the 1930’s saw something quite different. Towne’s use of ink and watercolour, without the usual washes, created flat images that emphasised “visual impression” over mood. So 20th century! Towne is now seen as a pioneer of the British landscape watercolour tradition.