Forest of Radnor, with the Black Mountains in the distance

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Forest of Radnor, with the Black Mountains in the distance

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Forest of Radnor, with the Black Mountains in the distance

Francis Towne (1739 – 1816)


The Forest of Radnor, a plateau in mid-Wales used as a royal hunting ground in the medieval period, looms against clouds. Towne rendered the scene with his typically restricted palette of greys, greens and blues. His delineation of form verges on abstraction, with fine detail excised in favour of planes of carefully modulated colour. In order to achieve the long narrow format, Towne joined two sheets of a sketchbook. Late in life he worked exclusively in sketchbooks.


Forest of Radnor, with the Black Mountains in the distance

Francis Towne (1739-1740-1816), Forest of Radnor, with the Black Mountains in the distance, 1810 © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

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