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date: 30 June 2022

Constable, Johnfree

Constable, Johnfree

British, 19th century, male.

Born 11 June 1776 , in East Bergholt (Suffolk); died 31 March 1837 , in London.

Painter, watercolourist, draughtsman, designer of engravings. Religious subjects, portraits, landscapes, seascapes.

John Constable was born in Suffolk, England, the fourth of six children of Golding Constable, a prosperous landowner and miller on the River Stour, who owned Flatford Mill and had an interest in a mill at Dedham. John worked in his father’s business for some six years, from 1792, before taking up painting as a full-time career. He had begun to teach himself painting when very young. He worked with a local artist, John Dunthorne. In 1795, he met the amateur painter and collector Sir George Beaumont, in whose house he was able to admire Claude Lorrain’s Hagar and the Angel. He also studied with the antiquarian and engraver John Thomas Smith, author of Remarks on Rural Scenery (1797) whom he met in 1796, and George Frost in 1798. In 1799, his father finally gave him permission to go to London to study at the Royal Academy, where he arrived with a letter of introduction from the painter Joseph Farington. From this point, Constable was to divide his time between London and Suffolk, spending six months of every year in his London studio working on the large six-foot canvases shown at the Royal Academy. He spent the summers in Suffolk, working on the themes for his paintings. Nevertheless, the early years of Constable’s career were not easy, and in order to make some money he had at times to paint portraits or religious works. He turned down the offer of a post teaching drawing at the military college at Great Marlow in 1802 and, until his father’s death, remained financially dependent on his family. In 1803, he made his first sea voyage, travelling for a month down the Thames and the Medway to the south-east of England. Between 1806 and 1812, he often visited his uncle and aunt in Epsom in Surrey.

A number of important dates stand out in his biography, including his meeting in 1806 with the Romantic poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge while on a trip to the Lake District, and his friendships with John Fisher, nephew of the bishop of Salisbury, whom he met in 1811, and with the painter Charles Leslie, who was to be his biographer. His father died in 1816, leaving him a fifth share in the family business, now managed by his brother Abraham, and allowing him to marry Mary Ricknell after a seven-year engagement. Mary was the granddaughter of the rector of East Bergholt, and her family was opposed to this marriage with an impoverished artist of inferior social status. Shortly after their wedding in 1817, Constable rented a house in the centre of London and then, in 1819, a second house in Hampstead for the summer months. He bought a house there in 1827 and settled there permanently.

In 1818, he was elected director of the Artists’ General Benevolent Institution (AGBI). He was also elected as an associate member of the Royal Academy in 1819 and was made a full member in 1829. A turning point in his fortunes was his participation in the 1824 Paris Salon where his painting The Hay Wain (1821), was acclaimed and awarded a gold medal by the king of France. On the suggestion of Théodore Géricault, who had seen the painting at the Royal Academy in 1821, it was bought by the Parisian dealer John Arrowsmith. Constable again won a medal in 1825, for his painting entitled White Horse, exhibited at the Lille Salon.

In 1828, Constable’s father-in-law died. In 1829, his wife, Mary, died in Hampstead of tuberculosis, leaving seven children. The inheritance from his father-in-law brought Constable a considerable fortune, but Mary’s death marked the rest of his life with sorrow. He used some of the inheritance to publish a series of mezzotints engraved after his paintings by David Lucas. They were intended to make money and also to publicise his ideas about art. The project English Landscapes, on which he worked for eight years, was intended to include 22 engravings presented with an essay by the author. Constable’s aim was to show ‘the phenomenon of chiaroscuro in nature’. The project suffered from delays and, disastrously, failed to find enough purchasers.

In 1831, he was elected inspector of the life class at the Royal Academy. Invited by the Literary and Scientific Society of Hampstead, he gave the first of a series of five lectures on landscape painting in 1833. These were followed by lectures in Worcester, at the Royal Institution in London, and then again in Hampstead in 1836. He died in 1837, leaving memoirs composed mainly of his letters.

Constable taught himself much about painting in his early years by copying the works of the masters. He paid special attention to the Dutch painters (Rembrandt van Rijn, Peter Paul Rubens, and Salomon van Ruysdael) and English painters such as Richard Wilson and Thomas Gainsborough. He found in the watercolours of Thomas Girtin a boldness of movement that encouraged him to give free rein to his interpretation of nature. He started by drawing picturesque cottages, but when he entered the Royal Academy he turned to the more lucrative genre of portrait painting. Here it is possible to see the influence of Joshua Reynolds and Sir Thomas Lawrence as well as a particular and emphatic rapport with his models. The poses are natural, seeming to capture the poetry of the moment; the brushstrokes are lively and sensual; and the expressions of the faces are meditative and inward looking. These portrait commissions earned him a not insignificant local reputation and often gave him an opportunity to sketch in the countryside around the homes of his patrons. He continued painting portraits throughout his career, examples being The Bridges Family (1804), Head of a Girl Seen from Behind (1806), and the painting of his future wife, Portrait of Mary Bicknell (1816). He received three commissions for altarpieces: one showing Christ blessing the children painted in 1805 for St Michael’s Church in Brantham, another one in 1810, and a third, an Ascension, for the church at Manningtree.

It was about 1806 when he moved on from drawing to painting in the open air, and it was then that his most important work as a landscape artist began. Constable, who never left England, was above all the painter of the English countryside. He represented a continuation of the school of English landscape painters begun in the 18th century by Wilson, John Crome, and John Sell Cotman. It was a tradition that began to be questioned in the 19th century and compared unfavourably with a truer imitation of nature. Constable was the first, however, to endow landscape with a nobler and more pantheistic dimension, while at the same time seeking tirelessly to convey it and understand it better. His thirst for knowledge and his desire to give a true picture of nature that was sufficiently expressive to touch all the human senses led him to the study of geology and meteorology. He felt that even the humblest detail of nature was full of beauty, as was the very passing of time that changed it.

The two main themes of his work are river landscapes and the representation of the sky. Leaving aside his most famous paintings such as The Hay Wain (1821), White Horse (1819), and Leaping Horse (1825), streams and canals are omnipresent in Constable’s work, as can be seen from the titles Flatford Mill from the Lock (1811), The Lock (1824), and Salisbury Cathedral Seen from the Meadows (1831). Although he also painted seascapes from 1811, the majority of his oeuvre were paintings of the countryside of his native Suffolk and the Stour Valley, near the border with Essex, which is now known as ‘Constable country’. Flat and wooded, it is a landscape without the picturesque views so sought after by the Romantics. Only five places feature in what is almost the entirety of his output: his birthplace in Suffolk, Salisbury, Hampstead, the area around Brighton, and, towards the end of his life, that around Arundel. He loved to depict rainbows and cloud effects. For him, the sky was not ‘a white canvas spread behind objects’, as was the prevailing view, but rather ‘the principal interpreter’ of the mood of the work, taking on an anthropomorphic dimension that allows the viewer to identify with the nature represented. In 1821 and 1822, he made hundreds of studies of clouds painted at all times of day in all types of weather. On each painting he systematically recorded these details, producing what was essentially a meteorological journal of the sky.

To create his large canvases, Constable worked in a series of stages. First he made sketches in oil, working outdoors and to the same scale. Then he made large rough sketches with any necessary improvements to the composition. Finally, he painted the final work on an easel. In his desire for objectivity, he followed Leonardo da Vinci’s usage of tracing an outline of his subject on a glass screen, which he then squared up to transfer to the canvas. The generally dark colours he used in his works were chosen for their resemblance to the colours found in nature. Experimenting with texture and pigments, he sought to reproduce all the diversity of greens in a landscape, moving away from the predominance of browns found in the old masters. He studded these paintings with touches of white, which he called ‘snow’, to get the effect of natural light, only obtainable if the viewer stepped back a certain distance from the canvas. His use of thick layers of paint was combined with a light and fluid touch and a large variety of ways of approaching the subject. Constable never confined himself to a single manner (‘I see no manner in nature’, he would say). His use of chiaroscuro was always truthful, obeying the movements of light and shade in the natural world and so ever changing with the passing of time. His conception of landscape is essentially a narrative one and, as such, contributed to the debate in his day concerning the painting of history and the need to unite time and space in what was known as the ‘crucial moment’, hitherto the sphere of drama and poetry. His spontaneous and nervous style became still livelier in the 1820s, while after 1830 it became expressive of the anguish brought about by the death of his wife, his personal difficulties, and his concerns about the reforms that were bringing about a profound revolution in rural life in England.

Constable is said to be the first painter to move his easel out of the studio into the open air, something that Eugène Boudin and Johan Barthold Jongkind did not do until later. His influence was immense: the Barbizon School followed him in its cult of unadorned nature, while he anticipated both Édouard Manet’s plein air (painting in the open air) and Gustave Courbet’s Realism. His free technique, making much use of hatching, where each tone is divided into all its possible constituents, was highly influential on Eugène Delacroix, who modified his own style after encountering that of Constable. Constable’s use of divided strokes of colour was inherited by the Impressionists and Neo-Impressionists through Delacroix. This technique of juxtaposing resonating tones was not the only link between Constable and the Impressionists, however. It is impossible not to think of Claude Monet when we read the following remark by Constable: ‘The same subject illuminated by different days takes on a very different physiognomy and moral expression’.

Group Exhibitions

1802, 1805, 1815, 1817, 1821, 1824, 1831, Royal Academy, London

1811, Liverpool Academy

1824, Paris Salon and at the home of the dealer John Arrowsmith in Rue St Marc, Paris

1825, Lille Salon

1827, British Institution, London

1857, Art Treasures, Manchester

1900, Universal Exhibition, Paris

1901, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London

1914, Morgan Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

1943, Paintings from the J.P. Morgan Collection, Knoedler Gallery, New York

2002, Expedition Art. The Discovery of Nature from C.D. Friedrich to Humboldt (Expedition Kunst. Die Entdeckung der Natur von C.D. Friedrich bis Humboldt), Kunsthalle, Hamburg (an exhibition presenting the links between the natural sciences and painted landscape)

2003, Constable to Delacroix. British Art and the French Romantics, Tate Britain, London

2006, The Painter’s Garden: Design, Inspiration, Delight, Städel Museum, Frankfurt

Solo Exhibitions

1946, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

1969, 1976, Tate Gallery, London

1983, Constable’s England, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

1984, Drawings by John Constable, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter

1988, Salander O’Reilly Galleries, New York

2000, Constable’s Clouds, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, and National Gallery, Edinburgh

2002, Constable Chosen by Lucien Freud (Constable, le Choix de Lucien Freud), Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris

2006, Constable: The Great Landscapes, Tate Britain, London (also presented at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, and the Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino [CA])

2006, Constable: Impressions of Land, Sea and Sky, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

2009, Constable Portraits: The Painter and His Circle, National Portrait Gallery, London

2011, Constable and Salisbury, Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum, Salisbury

Museum and Gallery Holdings

Bath (Holburne Mus. of Art): Rochester Castle (watercolour)

Berlin: Village on the River Stour; Mill on the River Stour; Landscape; The Artist’s House on Hampstead Heath

Bernay: Landscape

Besançon (MBA et d’Archéologie): Landscape with Black Clouds (oil on canvas)

Boston (MFA): Stour Valley and Dedham Church (c. 1815, oil on canvas); Weymouth Bay from the Downs above Osmington Mills (c. 1816, oil on canvas)

Cardiff (Nat. Mus. of Wales): A Cottage in a Cornfield (1817, oil on canvas)

Detroit, MI (Inst. Art): Glebe Farm (1827)

Dublin: Landscape near Salisbury

Edinburgh (NG): Dedham Vale (1828)

Glasgow: Hampstead Heath; House near a Road

Kassel: Landscape, Evening

Lille (Palais des Beaux-Arts): A Lane at East Bergholt (c. 1811-1812, oil on canvas mounted on panel)

Liverpool: Sad Day; English River; Kenilworth Castle; Summer Storm; Landscape in Rainy Weather

London (Guildhall AG): Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows (1829-1831, oil on canvas)

London (National Portrait Gal.): Self-portrait (c. 1799-1804, pencil and chalk)

London (NG): Weymouth Bay: Bowleaze Cove and Jordon Hill (1816-1817, oil on canvas); Stratford Mill (or ‘The Young Waltonians’) (1820, oil on canvas, exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts); The Hay Wain (1821, oil on canvas); The Cenotaph to Reynolds’ Memory, Coleorton (1833-1836, oil on canvas); Salisbury Cathedral from the River (1820, oil on canvas); The Cornfield (1826, oil on canvas, exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts)

London (Royal Academy of Arts): A Boat Passing a Lock (1826, oil on canvas); The Leaping Horse (1825, oil on canvas); studies

London (Tate Collection): Dedham Vale, Evening (1802); Cottage in a Cornfield (1815–1817); Hampstead Heath, with the House Called `The Salt Box’ (c. 1819-1820, oil on canvas); A Bank on Hampstead Heath (c. 1820-1822, oil on canvas); The Grove, Hampstead (c. 1821-1822, oil on canvas); Branch Hill Pond, Hampstead Heath, with a Boy Sitting on a Bank (c. 1825, oil on canvas); Trees at Hampstead (1829, oil on canvas); Hampstead Heath with a Rainbow (1836, oil on canvas); several views of Hampstead Heath; East Bergholt House [Church Farm in Langham, Essex] (c. 1809, oil on canvas); The Mill Stream. Verso: Night Scene with Bridge (c. 1810, oil/panel); Brightwell Church and Village (1815, oil/wood); Cottage in a Cornfield (1815-1833, oil on canvas, on loan from the Victoria and Albert Mus.); Dedham Lock and Mill (1817?, oil on canvas, unfinished); The Valley Farm (1835, oil on canvas); Malvern Hall, Warwickshire (1809, oil on canvas); View at Epsom (1809, oil/panel); The Church Porch, East Bergholt (exhibited in 1810, oil on canvas); Stoke-by-Nayland (c. 1810-1811, oil on canvas); A Lane near Flatford (c. 1810-1811, oil/paper/canvas); Dedham from Langham (1813?, oil on canvas); Dedham from near Gun Hill, Langham (c. 1815, oil/paper/canvas); Flatford Mill (`Scene on a Navigable River’) (1816-1817, oil on canvas); The Gleaners, Brighton (1824, oil/paper/canvas); The Glebe Farm (c. 1830, oil on canvas, several versions); Ann Constable (c. 1800-1805 or c. 1815, oil on canvas); The Bridges Family (1804, oil on canvas, group); Self-portrait (1806, pencil); Golding Constable (1815, oil on canvas); Maria Bicknell, Mrs John Constable (1816, oil on canvas); Mrs James Andrew (1818, oil on canvas); The Revd Dr James Andrew (1818, oil on canvas); large collection of drawings and watercolours

London (Victoria and Albert Mus.): Willy Lott’s House, near Flatford Mill (c. 1811, oil on canvas); The Village Fair, East Bergholt (1811, oil on canvas); Dedham from Langham (c. 1811-1812, oil on canvas); Boat-building near Flatford Mill (exhibited in 1815, oil on canvas); A Watermill at Gillingham, Dorset (1823-1827, oil on canvas); large collection; works on loan to the Tate Collection

Manchester (City AG): Cottage in a Cornfield (c. 1815-1817, oil on canvas); View from Hampstead Heath, Looking towards Harrow (1821, oil on paper on canvas)

Manchester (Whitworth AG): All Saints’ Church and Parsonage, Feering, near Kelvedon, Essex (1814, watercolour)

Montreal: Flatford House, near Willy Lott’s House; Landscape; Kew Bridge

Munich (Neue Pinakothek): View of Dedham Vale from East Bergholt (1815, oil on canvas)

New Haven, CT (Yale Center for British Art): Stratford Mill (1819-1820, oil on canvas); Malvern Hall, Warwickshire (c. 1820-1821, oil on canvas); Ploughing Scene in Suffolk (c. 1824-1825, oil on canvas); Hadleigh Castle; Gillingham Mill (1826); The Mouth of the Thames; Morning after a Stormy Night (1829, oil on canvas)

New York (Frick Collection): White Horse (1819, oil on canvas)Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop’s Garden (1826, oil on canvas)

New York (Metropolitan MA): Mrs. James Pulham Sr. (1818, oil on canvas); Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop’s Grounds (c. 1825, oil on canvas)

Paris (Louvre): View of Salisbury (oil on canvas); Weymouth Bay with Approaching Storm (c. 1819-1827, oil on canvas); Helmingham Dell, The Vale in Helmingham Park (c. 1823, oil on canvas); View of Hampstead Heath, Storm (1823, oil on canvas); and a large collection of sketches

Philadelphia (MA): Portrait of Master Crosby (1808, oil on canvas); The Stour (1810, oil on canvas); Dell at Helmingham Park (1825 or 1826, oil on canvas)

San Marino, CA (Huntington AG): View on the Stour near Dedham (1821–1822)

São Paulo (Mus. de Arte): Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop’s Grounds (c. 1822-1823)

Sheffield: Cornfield or Country Road; Landscape; Salisbury Cathedral

Stuttgart: Main Road in the English Countryside; Trees (study)

Toledo, OH (MA): Arundel Mill and Castle (1837)

Washington, DC (NGA): Wivenhoe Park, Essex (1816, oil on canvas); Salisbury Cathedral from Lower Marsh Close (1820, oil on canvas); Cloud Study: Stormy Sunset (1821-1822, oil on paper on canvas)

Washington, DC (Phillips Collection): On the Stour: Farmhouse near the Water’s Edge (1834)

Auction Records

London, 1838: The White Horse, GBP 157

London, 1855: The White Horse, GBP 630

Liverpool, 1867: Landscape, FRF 5,375

London, 1870: Weymouth Bay, FRF 13,385; Cart, Donkey and Cattle, FRF 19,700; Manor House, FRF 3,415; Hampstead Heath and Two Donkeys, FRF 14,700; Landscape with Bridge, FRF 9,970

London, 1872: Weymouth Bay, FRF 18,370; London Seen from Hampstead, FRF 10,230

Paris, 1873: Cottage, FRF 24,500; Weymouth Bay; Approaching Storm, FRF 56,600

London, 1874: The Thames, FRF 27,000

Paris, 1877: Pool, FRF 850

London, 1877: Watermill, FRF 10,700

London, 1878: Hampstead Heath, FRF 12,075

London, 1888: Watermill, FRF 8,660

Paris, 1891: Disembarkation, Seascape, FRF 15,600

Paris, 1893: Flood, FRF 3,100; Evening, FRF 1,020

London, 1893: Hampstead Heath, FRF 66,900

London, 1894: Scene on the River Stour, GBP 6,510;Hampstead Heath, FRF 45,900;Yarmouth Jetty, FRF 12,887

London, 1895: Landscape, FRF 223,125

London, 1896: Embarkation of George IV, FRF 52,500

London, 1898: Hampstead Heath with Figures and Animals, FRF 12,325

New York, 1898: Mill in Suffolk, FRF 15,000; Lake Windermere, FRF 26,500; Weymouth Bay, FRF 15,250; Lake, FRF 26,000

New York, 1899: Portrait of the Artist, FRF 2,250; Stratford near London, FRF 4,125

London, 1899: View of Salisbury Cathedral, FRF 34,375

New York, 1902: Opening the Lock, USD 13,000

New York, 1905: Glebe Farm, USD 2,600

New York, 1906: Self-portrait, USD 2,200

Paris, 11 June 1906: Lock, FRF 1,300

London, 18 Jan 1908: Helmingham Dell, Suffolk, GBP 157

London, 16 March 1908: Scene by the Sea, GBP 16; Arundel Castle and Mill, GBP 336

London, 6 Feb 1909: Banstead, Surrey, GBP 73

London, 27 March 1909: Hampstead Heath, GBP 378

London, 24 April 1909: Yarmouth Pier, GBP 1,449

London, 2 May 1909: View of the River Stour, GBP 714

London, 6 May 1910: Presbytery, GBP 735

London, 24 June 1910: Glebe Farm, Dedham, GBP 2,047

Paris, 21 Nov 1919: Entrance to the Forest (sketch) FRF 1,600; Broad Landscape (sketch) FRF 1,300

Paris, 18-20 March 1920: Storm, FRF 200

Paris, 26-27 March 1920: Mill in Suffolk, FRF 10,000

Paris, 6-8 Dec 1920: Lock (sketch) FRF 13,200; Landscape on Hampstead Heath after a Storm, FRF 4,600; London Bridge (sketch) FRF 6,000; Landscape (sketch) FRF 2,100; Landscape, by the River (sepia and watercolour) FRF 16,000; Landscape (wash) FRF 1,150

Paris, 27 Jan 1921: View of Dedham Vale, FRF 5,000

Paris, 23 Feb 1921: Lake Windermere, FRF 700

Paris, 23 Feb 1922: Cottages by a River (attributed) FRF 600

London, 15 March 1922: Cornfield in Suffolk, GBP 71

Paris, 27-29 March 1922: English Landscape (attributed) FRF 405

London, 30 June 1922: Mill near Oxford, GBP 220

Paris, 24 May 1923: Landscape with a Rider on a White Horse (attributed) FRF 150

London, 6 July 1923: Embarkation of George IV (sketch) GBP 2,520

Paris, 19 March 1924: House in a Park (Indian ink and sepia, attributed) FRF 320

Paris, 20 June 1924: Landscape with Figures (attributed) FRF 170

Paris, 4 Dec 1924: English Landscape (in the style of Constable) FRF 1,000

Paris, 26 Oct 1925: Landscape (mounted paper/card) FRF 330

Paris, 9 Feb 1927: Valley (attributed) FRF 780

Paris, 14-15 Feb 1927: River Banks (school of Constable) FRF 750

London, 20 May 1927: Salisbury Cathedral, GBP 2,310; Brighton Beach, GBP 630

London, 23 July 1928: Coronation of William IV (drawing) GBP 50

London, 28 Feb-3 March 1930: Near Arundel, GBP 294

Paris, 1 July 1931: Lock (school of Constable) FRF 180

London, 8 Dec 1931: Watermill, GBP 84

New York, 5 May 1932: Cart, USD 310

Paris, 24 June 1932: Landscape (pencil and gouache) FRF 220

London, 5 Aug 1932: Salisbury Cathedral, GBP 105

Paris, 5 May 1933: Pool (attributed) FRF 1,460

New York, 18-19 April 1934: Landscape, USD 2,200

Paris, 1 June 1934: Lock (attributed) FRF 330

Paris, 15 June 1934: Walking by the Water, FRF 1,050

London, 27 July 1934: Dedham Seen from the Stour Valley, GBP 210

London, 2 Nov 1934: Cornfields near Brighton, GBP 787; Hampstead, GBP 283

London, 4 April 1935: Landscape at Sunset (watercolour) GBP 210

Paris, 12 Dec 1935: House on the Edge of a Forest (attributed) FRF 220

London, 19 July 1937: Wooded Landscape, GBP 388

London, 25 Feb 1938: Farm in a Valley, GBP 388

London, 15 July 1938: Helmingham Park, GBP 399

Paris, 24 March 1941: Pond in Front of a Farm (attributed) FRF 380

Paris, 30 June 1941: St Mary’s Church, FRF 7,000

New York, 4-5 Dec 1941: View of the River Stour, USD 4,000

Paris, 29 June 1942: Pleasure Boats near the Cliffs, FRF 6,000

New York, 17 Oct 1942: Boat in the Lock, USD 1,300

New York, 29 April 1943: Landscape, USD 1,600

New York, 20 April 1944: The Avon near Salisbury, USD 900

London, 28 April 1944: Church, GBP 105

New York, 24 May 1944: Landscape, USD 1,200

New York, 13 Dec 1945: Landscape, USD 750

New York, 12 Dec 1956: Valley in Helmingham Park, USD 22,000

London, 2 July 1958: Old Town of East Bergholt, Suffolk, GBP 3,800

London, 17 July 1959: Stratford Mill, GBP 4,620

London, 6 Nov 1959: Dedham Vale Seen from a Wooded Hill, GBP 9,450; Landscape with Cottage and Trees, GBP 3,570

London, 30 Nov 1960: Anne and Mary Constable, GBP 5,200; Rainbow, GBP 2,200

London, 26 July 1961: Cloud Study, GBP 6,800

New York, 28 Nov 1962: Dedham Vale, USD 10,000

London, 3 July 1963: Cornfields and Mill near Brighton, GBP 9,200

London, 15 July 1964: Landscape and Setting Sun, GBP 9,500

London, 15 March 1967: Portrait of John Charles, the Artist’s Eldest Son, GBP 1,800

London, 26 June 1968: Landscape, GBP 3,800

London, 28 Nov 1969: Landscape with Trees, Gns 6,200

London, 17 June 1970: Landscape, GBP 4,500

London, 2 March 1971: Bletchington near Brighton (watercolour) Gns 1,300

London, 23 June 1971: Windsor Castle, GBP 2,500

London, 23 June 1972: Landscape with Figures (1824) Gns 90,000

London, 26 March 1976: Cloud Study (oil on paper remounted on board, 9½ × 11½ ins/24 × 29.2 cm) GBP 4,000

New York, 9 Oct 1976: View of Salisbury (1829, pencil, 9 × 13¼ ins/23 × 33.5 cm) USD 8,000

London, 9 Nov 1976: Stour Valley (1805, watercolour and pencil, 6¾ × 10¾ ins/17 × 27.5 cm) GBP 8,000

London, 14 June 1977: Jacques and the Wounded Stag (watercolour, pencil, and ink, 9 × 9 ins/23 × 23 cm) GBP 6,000

London, 25 Nov 1977: Flatford Mill from the Lock (1810 or 1811, oil on canvas, 10 × 12 ins/25.4 × 30.5 cm) GBP 55,000

London, 13 July 1978: East Bergholt (1813, oil on canvas, 8 × 11 ins/20.5 × 28 cm) GBP 16,000

London, 1979: Netley Abbey (etching, 5¼ × 7½ ins/13.4 × 19 cm) GBP 460

London, 20 March 1979: View of a Farm (pencil and watercolour, 4¾ × 6½ ins/12.2 × 16.5 cm) GBP 1,100

London, 21 March 1979: Hampstead Heath - Fine Evening (1820, oil on canvas, 5½ × 10 ins/14 × 24.5 cm) GBP 25,000

London, 19 June 1979: Landscape near Epsom (1806, watercolour, 6½ × 9 ins/16.5 × 23 cm) GBP 2,600

New York, 3 June 1981: Brighton Lugger (1824, pencil, 7 × 11 ins/17.8 × 27.1 cm) USD 15,500

London, 15 June 1982: Dedham Vale (watercolour and pencil, 6 × 8¾ ins/15.5 × 22.5 cm) GBP 5,500

London, 16 Nov 1982: Portrait of Captain Allen (1812, pencil/paper, 12 × 8 ins/30.5 × 20.3 cm) GBP 17,500

London, 29 March 1983: Dedham: The Old Lecture House Seen across Long Meadow from Black Brook (1800, watercolour and pen, heightened with white, 13 × 18 ins/33 × 46 cm) GBP 15,000

London, 18 Nov 1983: Stoke by Nayland (1816, oil on paper remounted/canvas, 10½ × 7½ ins/26.7 × 19.1 cm) GBP 280,000

London, 15 March 1984: Lock near Newbury (1821, pencil, 6½ × 9¾ ins/16.5 × 25 cm) GBP 32,000

London, 5 Nov 1985: Milford Bridge (1826, etching/touched up in Indian ink, 5¼ × 7½ ins/13.6 × 19.2 cm) GBP 2,800

London, 21 Nov 1985: Flatford Lock (1823, pencil and grey wash/two joined sheets, 6½ × 11¾ ins/16.8 × 30 cm) GBP 30,000

London, 27 June 1986: An Old Bridge at Salisbury or Milford Bridge (c. 1826, etching, 5¼ × 7½ ins/13.3 × 18.9 cm) GBP 2,100

London, 10 July 1986: Stanway Mill near Colchester, Essex (watercolour, 8¼ × 6 ins/21 × 15.5 cm) GBP 56,000

London, 21 Nov 1986: Flatford Lock and Mill (oil on canvas, 26 × 36½ ins/66 × 92.7 cm) GBP 2,400,000

London, 24 April 1987: Flatford Mill from the Lock (oil on canvas remounted on board, 6 × 8¼ ins/15.2 × 21 cm) GBP 220,000

London, 16 July 1987: Stoke-by-Nayland, Suffolk (brown and white wash heightened with pencil, 4¾ × 6½ ins/12 × 16.5 cm) GBP 48,000

London, 14 July 1989: The Houses of East Bergholt Seen from the Fields with Golding Constable Seen from Behind (oil on paper/canvas, 5½ × 9¾ ins/13.7 × 24.7 cm) GBP 71,500

London, 15 Nov 1989: Child Hill with Harrow in the Distance (oil on canvas, 23½ × 29½ ins/60 × 75 cm) GBP 616,000

London, 14 March 1990: River Stour Looking towards Dedham at Sunset (oil on paper/canvas/panel, 9¾ × 7¾ ins/25 × 19.5 cm) GBP 198,000

London, 14 Nov 1990: Lock (oil on canvas, 56 × 47¼ ins/142.2 × 120 cm) GBP 10,780,000

London, 10 July 1991: Study of Clouds over the Sea at Brighton (oil on canvas, 6¼ × 9 ins/16 × 23 cm) GBP 41,800

London, 8 April 1992: Harvest (oil on paper/canvas, 19¼ × 26½ ins/49 × 67 cm) GBP 34,100

London, 10 April 1992: Head and Shoulders Portrait of Lady Croft in a White Dress with a Rose on Her Corsage (oil on canvas, 30¼ × 25 ins/76.9 × 63.5 cm) GBP 22,000

London, 17 July 1992: Cloud Study (oil on paper/card, 11¾ × 23¼ ins/30.1 × 59.2 cm) GBP 99,000

London, 10 Nov 1993: Portrait of Henry Greswolde Lewis in a Black Jacket and White Cravat (oil on canvas, 30 × 25 ins/76 × 63.5 cm) GBP 8,625

London, 12 April 1995: Landscape by Mooonlight with Hadleigh Church in the Distance (1796, oil on canvas, 18 × 22 ins/45.5 × 55 cm) GBP 32,200

London, 10 July 1996: Sick Child (1865, oil on canvas, 23¼ × 18¾ ins/59 × 47.5 cm) GBP 8,050

London, 13 Nov 1996: View of Beaufort Cottage from Constable’s House (oil on canvas/panel, 5½ × 7 ins/14 × 18 cm) GBP 106,000

London, 9 April 1997: Willy Lott’s House (oil on canvas, 13½ × 16¾ ins/34 × 42.5 cm) GBP 221,500

London, 9 July 1997: Cloud Study (oil on paper/canvas, 9½ × 12 ins/24 × 30.5 cm) GBP 56,500

North Bethesda, 22 Jan 1999: Looking towards London (oil on canvas, 13 × 20 ins/33 × 51 cm) USD 400,000

London, 11 Nov 1999: Skylark, Dedham. Study of a Cow (oil on board, double-sided, 9 × 8 ins/23 × 20 cm) GBP 210,000

London, 15 June 2000: Study of Clouds (coloured chalk, 5 × 7 ins/13 × 18 cm) GBP 118,000

London, 30 Nov 2000: White Horse (oil on canvas, sketch, 24 × 20 ins/61 × 52 cm) GBP 640,000

London, 15 June 2001: Edge of a Heath by Moonlight (oil on paper laid on canvas, 6 × 10 ins/15 × 26 cm) GBP 70,000

London, 28 Nov 2001: View of the City of London from Sir Richard Steele’s Cottage, Hampstead (oil on paper, 6 × 8 ins/14 × 21 cm) GBP 260,000

London, 28 Nov 2002: Cloudy Study (oil on paper, 5 × 6 ins/13 × 16 cm) GBP 130,000;Gothic House, Sillwood Place, Brighton (oil on paper, 10 × 12 ins/25 × 30 cm) GBP 200,000

London, 19 March 2003: Bow View of HMS Victory in the Medway (pencil, 10 × 8 ins/25 × 20 cm) GBP 188,000

London, 26 Nov 2003: View of the City of London from Sir Richard Steele’s Cottage, Hampstead (oil on canvas, 8 × 11 ins/21 × 28 cm) GBP 500,000

London, 7 July 2004: Sketch of East Bergholt, from East Bergholt House (oil on canvas laid on panel, 5 × 7 ins/12 × 19 cm) GBP 170,000

London, 25 Nov 2004: Boys Fishing on the Stour (oil on canvas, 11 × 13 ins/27 × 32 cm) GBP 160,000

London, 7 June 2006: Summer Evening with Storm Clouds (oil on paper, 9 × 11 ins/22.8 × 27.9 cm) GBP 295,000

New York, 28 Jan 2009: A View of Salisbury (oil on paper laid down on canvas, 7¾ × 11¼ ins/19.7 × 28.6 cm) USD 1,082,500

London, 6 July 2011: Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows (oil on canvas, 28 × 25½ ins/71 × 90 cm) GBP 657,250


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  • Raynal, Maurice: Le XIXe siècle, Skira, Geneva, 1951.
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  • Bishop, Peter: An Archetypal Constable: National Identity and the Geography of Nostalgia, Athlone, London, 1995.
  • Wat, Pierre: Constable entre ciel et terre, exhibition catalogue, Herscher, Paris, 1995.
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  • Thornes, John E.: John Constable’s Skies: A Fusion of Art and Science, University of Birmingham Press, Birmingham (AL), 1999.
  • Gage, John, and others: Constable, le choix de Lucian Freud, exhibition catalogue, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, 2002.
  • Wat, Pierre: Constable, exhibition catalogue, Hazan, Paris, 2002.
  • Lista, Marcella: ‘John Constable, portraitiste de la nature’, in L’Oeil, no. 540, periodical, Paris, Dec 2002.
  • Lambert, Ray: John Constable and the Theory of Landscape Painting, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (UK), 2004.
  • Bailey, Anthony: John Constable: A Kingdom of His Own, Chatto and Windus, London, 2006.
  • Clarkson, Jonathan: Constable, Phaidon, London and New York, 2010.
  • Wilcox, Timothy: Constable and Salisbury: The Soul of Landscape, Scala, London, 2011.
  • Evans, Mark: John Constable: Oil Sketches from the Victoria and Albert Museum, V&A Publishing, London, 2011.