Enfilade

New Book | Francis Towne’s Lake District Sketchbook

Posted in books by Editor on November 17, 2017

From the flyer for the book:

Timothy Wilcox, Francis Towne’s Lake District Sketchbook: A Facsimile Reconstruction (Birmingham: The Winterbourne Press, 2017), 200 pages, ISBN: 978  099548  5709, £40.

The watercolours of Francis Towne (1739–1816) are among the most admired in eighteenth-century British art. After his trip to Italy and the Alps, it was his subsequent tour, to the Lake District in 1786, which marked the true climax of his career. He created a series of 40 views in a single sketchbook, which he then dismantled and exhibited separately. The scattered pages are here reassembled and reproduced at their original size for the first time. The sketchbook itself is accompanied by an introduction, along with detailed notes on the individual subjects, which include classic locations such as Windermere, Ambleside and Coniston, along with far less familiar Buttermere and Bassenthwaite. The result is a unique document of British watercolour painting, and a testament both to the artistic discovery of the Lake District and to the great age of Picturesque travel.

Timothy Wilcox is a leading authority on British painting, especially the watercolour and landscape artists of the Romantic era. He is a writer, lecturer and the curator of exhibitions on Constable, John Sell Cotman, and the bicentenary celebration of the Royal Watercolour Society in 2005. His books include Samuel Palmer (2005), Turner and His Contemporaries: The Hickman Bacon Watercolour Collection (2012), and contributions to The Solitude of Mountains: Constable in the Lake District (2006).

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