Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Towne, Charles

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TOWNE, CHARLES (d. 1850?), artist, son of Richard Town, portrait-painter of Liverpool, worked there originally as an heraldic or coach painter. In 1787 a small landscape by him appeared in an exhibition held in that town. His first appearance in London exhibitions was at the Royal Academy in 1799, when he had added a final ‘e’ to his name. Between that year and 1823 he exhibited twelve works at the academy, and four at the British Institute. From 1800 to 1805 he resided in Manchester, and is said to have then removed to London; but he had returned to Liverpool in 1810, where his name appears as a member of the Liverpool Academy in their first exhibition in that year. He was a vice-president in 1813, and resided in Liverpool until 1837, when he apparently returned to London. He died there about 1850. Towne painted landscapes and animals, and obtained great celebrity in Lancashire and Cheshire by his portraits of horses, dogs, and cattle. Many of his pictures were small, but occasionally he ventured on compositions of landscapes with cattle introduced of larger size. There is a picture of Everton village by him in the Liverpool Corporation gallery. He also painted in watercolour, and was a candidate for admission to the Watercolour Society in 1809. His work, though carefully drawn, is wanting in spirit and originality.

[Bryan's Dict, of Artists (Graves); Mayer's Early Art in Liverpool; Manchester and Liverpool Art Exhibition Cat.]

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