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John Constable

1776 – 1837

Porch of the Church at East Bergholt, Suffolk by John Constable

Porch of the Church at East Bergholt, Suffolk   c.1843

  Mezzotint by David Lucas after John Constable.
Ref: Shirley 42 between progress proof ‘f’ and the 1st published state.
S 435 x 302 mm; P 244 x 187 mm; I (border) 190 x 156 mm
Excellent proof impression between Shirley’s progress proof ‘f’ and the 1st published state. In this state, the engraved title has not yet been added to the plate and only the artists’ names and intended publication line appear in script lettering.

After John Constable’s death his engraver, David Lucas, continued to work on the English Landscape series, adding a handful of plates which were not published until during the mid-1840’s. These were produced for the New Series of Engravings under C.R. Leslie’s supervision, and they continue the spirit of the great artist’s work. This mezzotint engraving is a very early printing with bright contrast, designed for this New Series, but prior to its first publication in 1846.

This mezzotint is based upon the first oil painting by John Constable that can be identified with any certainty as an exhibited work – a charming oil on canvas exhibited in 1811 at the British Institution (and possibly at the Royal Academy in 1810) (Tate, London). The image shows the local church close to John Constable’s own family home at East Bergholt in Suffolk on a warm summer’s afternoon. The subject was inspired by Gray’s Elegy.

On warm white wove paper, with full margins. Minor surface dirt and faint foxing in margins and verso; two short nicks at extreme edges of sheet, otherwise very good original condition.