Francis Towne

Francis Towne (1739–1816)
The Forest of Radnor, with the Black Mountains in the Distance
1810
Watercolor, gouache, and gray ink washes, with some drawing with the point of the brush and pen in dark gray ink, over graphite
Samuel Courtauld Trust: Spooner Bequest, 1967

The Forest of Radnor, a plateau in Wales used as a royal hunting ground in the medieval period, looms against clouds. Towne rendered the scene with his characteristically restricted palette of grays, greens, and blues. His delineation of form verges on abstraction, with detail excised in favor of planes of carefully modulated color. To create the long narrow format, Towne joined two sheets of a sketchbook.