A watercolour drawing on a two-page spread, with the crease visible in the centre. Rolling mountains take up the entire scene, with a dark cloudy sky in the background and a small figure visible on the path. The whole scene is in hues of deep blues, greys and browns.
Francis Towne (1739-1816), Forest of Radnor, with the Black Mountains in the distance, 1810, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust) © The Courtauld

Forest of Radnor, with the Black Mountains in the distance

Francis Towne

The Forest of Radnor, a plateau in mid-Wales used as a royal hunting ground in the medieval period, looms against clouds. The view may well have been taken from the southwestern edge of the forest. The clarity and precision of the drawing exemplify Towne’s watercolour practice, with 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. The long narrow format of the drawing derives from two joined sketchbooks pages, Towne’s favourite drawing support after 1808. 

You might also like

Virtual Tour

Enjoy a virtual stroll through each room of The Courtauld Gallery, as it was before it closed for its current major renovation....

Exhibitions

We have partnered with national and international museums and galleries so more audiences can engage with our collection. ...

See more collection highlights

Explore The Courtauld’s remarkable collection of paintings, prints and drawings, sculpture and decorative arts.

Explore
Two men sit across from each other at a table covered with a brown tablecloth, playing cards. Both men wear overcoats and hats, and the man on the left smokes a pipe. They sit inside a wooden building. i Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) The Card Players, around 1892-96, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)

Citations