The Monarch of the Glen
Towne painted this work during a visit to London in the late 1790s, when he exhibited several cattle pieces at the Royal Academy in an effort to attract more prestigious patrons. The large scale, crisp, clean-cut definition of the animals and landscape, and the cool, subtle colour are evidence of his study of the work of Philip de Loutherbourg (1740-1812). When Towne returned to Liverpool in 1810, he concentrated on smaller, cabinet-sized pictures. He generally gave these a warm, Old Master tone, which was more suited to the tastes and pockets of local patrons.