Dec 4, 2014
Apr 26, 2012
Apr 26, 2012
Dec 4, 2014

Waterfall between Chiavenna and Mount Splügen

Waterfall between Chiavenna and Mount Splügen


Francis Towne

(British, 1739/40–1816)

Watercolor with graphite, point of brushwork, and selective glazing

Sheet: 47.3 x 56.8 cm (18 5/8 x 22 3/8 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 2012.35


Did you know?

This drawing once belonged to Paul Oppé, one of Britain's most esteemed art historians and a legendary authority on English drawings.


Francis Towne spent a year painting the architectural wonders of Rome and its environs on what was to be his only trip to the Continent. On the journey back to England, he traveled over the Alps, visiting the Italian Lakes, crossing over the Splügen Pass into Switzerland, finally arriving in Geneva. His distinctive style, characterized by an austere simplicity of vision, found its fullest expression in his Alpine views, described by one scholar as "unquestionably among the greatest by any 18th-century artist of mountain scenery." Against the earth tones of the brooding cliffs, the crash of the waterfall is like a white explosion.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.