A pencil drawing attributed to John Constable to go under the hammer at Dawson’s

Posted in: News on August 5, 2019.

Attributed to John Constable (1776 – 1837) British, ‘A London Terrace with Trees and figures’

An original pencil study attributed to John Constable, titled ‘A London Terrace with Trees and Figures’ will be offered in our August 24th auction with an estimate of £4,000 to £6,000.

The study along with several other works by artists such as William Payne, Samuel Prout and Henry Gastineau, was unearthed by one of our valuers on a recent house call in Holland Park. Believed to have been bequeathed to the owner by their long-term next door neighbour and close friend when she passed away. The friend worked as a writer for Longmans Publishers from the 1940’s, and sourced art to be documented and included in encyclopaedias.

An inscription on the reverse of the work states that it was purchased from John Manning of 8 Bury Street, St James’s, London. A further typed label details how the drawing was authenticated by the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Detail of the label to the back of the picture.

Born in Suffolk, John Constable (1776 – 1837) was the eldest son of Golding and Ann Constable. After working for his families family business, trading and transporting corn and coal on and around the River Stour, Constable took up painting and drawing under the guidance of local artist, John Dunthorne. When Constable met the collector Sir George Beaumont, he was exposed to Beaumont’s collection of major paintings by the Old Masters. Consequently the Suffolk artist reached a turning point and realised the style of painting he wanted to fully embrace. In 1799 Constable entered the Royal Academy Schools in London, to embark on a career as a serious artist.

In 1816 he married Maria Bicknell and set up home in Bloomsbury the following year. Living in central London didn’t suit the young lovers and eventually the family settled in Hampstead where they remained permanently. During his lifetime pastoral works were not fashionable and were not as highly regarded as paintings of historic scenes. After his sudden death in 1837, his friend, fellow Royal Academician and first biographer Charles Robert Leslie, noted that he had sadly left a studio full of unsold works.

One of the greatest British landscape painters, John Constable devoted his career to capturing nature on his canvases. He is one of Britain’s best-known artists even though he so sold few paintings in his lifetime. Now, his paintings are much coveted and often sell for six figure sums, however his pencil drawings are still affordable, making them a great investment for collectors and galleries alike.

For further information about this work please contact us.


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