A liver and white Spaniel in a landscape signed and dated 'C.TOWNE/1830' (lower right) oil on panel 13 3/4 x 17 1/2 in. (35 x 44.5 cm.)
PROVENANCE: Sale, Christies, London, 3 December 2008, lot 59
Charles Towne was born in Wigan, Lancashire in 1763. The family was poor, but by the age of eight Charles was selling drawings to bring in money and at twelve he walked to Liverpool to work as an apprentice to the landscape painter John Rathbone. After this brief training he became a coach painter with his brother in Liverpool.
In 1787 he had his first exhibition and started to gain commissions for his work which was in the mould of Stubbs. He was mostly known for his animal portraits in particular his equestrian portraits. Following this success he moved to London in 1799 and added an 'e' to his surname. He exhibited at the Royal Academy and was admired for his attention to detail. In 1810 he moved back to Liverpool and was a founder member of the Liverpool Academy becoming Vice-President there in 1812-13. He was at the forefront of Liverpool becoming a centre of the arts in the early 19th century to match its pre-eminence as a port.