Self Portrait

WAG 10557


Born in Wigan, Charles Towne received some training from the landscape painter, John Rathbone, in Leeds. He then worked as a coach painter and later as a japanner (often referred to as lacquer) and ornamental painter in Liverpool. By the 1790s Towne was an established animal painter working in a similar style to George Stubbs (1724 - 1806). In 1796 he visited London and was employed by Blundell (of Ince) to copy a Richard Wilson (1714 - 1782) Landscape. While living in London between 1799 and 1804, he exhibited at the Royal Academy and the British Institution until 1823. He returned to Liverpool in 1810 and was one of the founding members of the Liverpool Academy. Towne painted landscapes and animals and became very popular in Lancashire and Cheshire for his paintings of horses, dogs and cattle. While his animal paintings tended to be on a smaller scale, when he ventured into large-scale landscape painting, he would add cattle and other animals within them.