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
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.
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