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Drawing - Design for an illustration to Gray's 'Elegy', Stanza III.
  • Design for an illustration to Gray's 'Elegy', Stanza III.
    John Constable, born 1776 - died 1837
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Design for an illustration to Gray's 'Elegy', Stanza III.

  • Object:

    Drawing

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (painted)

  • Date:

    ca. 1833 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    John Constable, born 1776 - died 1837 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Charcoal and grey wash on laid paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Isabel Constable

  • Museum number:

    813-1888

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H, case WD, shelf 20, box C

This design is for an illustration of the following lines of poetry: 'Save from that yonder ivy-mantled tower/ The moping owl doth to the moon complain'. They are from 'Elegy in a country churchyard' (1750) by Thomas Gray (1716-1771). The poem celebrates the contemplative and philosophical aspects of the night. It remained popular throughout the 19th century, when the celebrated artist John Constable drew this design.

Physical description

Charcoal and grey wash on laid paper, design for an illustration to Gray's 'Elegy', Stanza III. Image shows a moonlit ivy covered tower.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (painted)

Date

ca. 1833 (painted)

Artist/maker

John Constable, born 1776 - died 1837 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Charcoal and grey wash on laid paper

Marks and inscriptions

Probably Britannia in a cartouche
truncated watermark

Dimensions

Height: 10 cm, Width: 16.3 cm

Historical context note

'In 1833 Constable exhibited four oil paintings and three drawings at the Royal Academy: the former included 'Englefield House, Berkshire ... morning' (see Nos. 340-344 [345-1888, 255-1888, 1258-1888, 1258a-1888, 1258b-1888]) and 'Cottage in a Cornfield' (No. 352 [1631-1888]). He gave his first lecture in Hampstead this year. '

[G Reynolds, 1973, p. 210]

Descriptive line

Watercolour by John Constable, 'Design for ill. to Gray's 'Elegy'

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Catalogue of the Constable Collection, Graham Reynolds, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: HMSO, 1973, pp. 210, 214, 215

Materials

Charcoal; Wash; Laid paper

Techniques

Painted

Subjects depicted

Moon; Night

Categories

Images Online; Illustration

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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