Exhibition catalogue text
62 The Bay of Naples with Capri in the Distance 1786
Watercolour 407 x 613 (16 x 24 1/8)
Signed and dated 1786
Prov: John Lane; Meatyard, bt P.Opp? 1927; by descent to 1996, when acquired by Tate Gallery (T08195).
Exh: BFAC. 1929 (25); Agnew's 1949 (4); Exeter 1951 (38); Royal Academy 1958 (97).
Lit: Herrmann 1973, p.122.
Tate Gallery. Purchased with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
On his return from the Continent Towne found hardly more than a handful of patrons interested in commissioning replicas of his drawings. Occasionally these were in oil (such as the version of Ariccia executed for James Curtis in 1784, now in a private collection in San Francisco), but the majority were in watercolour. The subjects were scattered over the entire range of Towne's journey, but perhaps surprisingly there appeared to be less demand for his views of Rome, Tivoli and the Campagna than for Naples, the Italian Lakes or Switzerland. There, it is true, Towne faced less competition from the sets of prints by Continental and British artists which were increasingly available…