Please complete the form to email this item.

Drawing - Fishing with a net on the lake in Wivenhoe Park
  • Fishing with a net on the lake in Wivenhoe Park
    John Constable, born 1776 - died 1837
  • Enlarge image

Fishing with a net on the lake in Wivenhoe Park

  • Object:

    Drawing

  • Place of origin:

    Essex, England (drawn)

  • Date:

    1816 (drawn)

  • Artist/Maker:

    John Constable, born 1776 - died 1837 (drawn by)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pencil and grey wash on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Isabel Constable, daughter of the artist

  • Museum number:

    D.233-1888

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case WD, shelf 16

  • Download image

Constable made several visits to Wivenhoe Park, near Colchester, Essex, between 1812 and 1816. Major-General Rebow, who owned the estate, commissioned him to paint two small landscapes of the environs. This small pencil sketch may have been a preparatory study for the first painting, but although Constable did show men fishing from a boat in the finished picture, he used neither the composition nor that detail from the sketch.

Constable made this sketch a few months before his marriage to Maria Bicknell. The couple had been engaged since 1809, but due to the disapproval of their parents and Constable's precarious financial state, they were forced to wait seven years to marry. Writing to Maria after the visit to Wivenhoe Park when he made this sketch, he said of his hosts, 'They are both well acquainted with our history, and hope to see us there together.'

Physical description

A pencil drawing of a man fishing from a small boat on a pond. Small figures stand on both sides of the pond.

Place of Origin

Essex, England (drawn)

Date

1816 (drawn)

Artist/maker

John Constable, born 1776 - died 1837 (drawn by)

Materials and Techniques

Pencil and grey wash on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'Wivenhoe Park July 27 1816'
'J.C.'
'M.C.'

Dimensions

Height: 88 mm, Width: 116 mm

Object history note

This may be a preparatory sketch for a painting representing Wivenhoe Park exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1817 and now in the National Gallery of Art, Washington (Widener Collection). Although the finished painting depicts two men fishing from a boat, neither the composition nor that detail is taken from this drawing.

Historical context note

Constable was a somewhat regular visitor to Wivenhoe Park, the seat of Major-General Rebow near Colchester, between 1812-1816. The general commissioned two small landscape paintings from Constable in 1816, a few months before his marriage to Maria Bicknell.
In 1816 Constable exhibited 'The Wheatfield' and 'A Wood: Autumn' at the Royal Academy. His father died on 14 May. He spent some of the summer in Suffolk and paid two visits to Wivenhoe. He was married by his friend John Fisher to Miss Bicknell on 2 October at St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, and they spent part of the honeymoon staying with Fisher at his vicarage at Osmington, Dorsetshire.

[G Reynolds, 1973, p. 110]

Descriptive line

Drawing of men fishing on the lake in Wivenhoe Park, by John Constable

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

G. Reynolds, Victoria and Albert Museum: Catalogue of the Constable Collection, 1973, pp. 110-11, no. 146.
Part of Constable's letter to his wife-to-be, Maria Bicknell, concerning his visit to Wivenhoe Park and the commission of two paintings by Major-General Rebow is included in the catalogue entry. The first of these paintings, which represents Wivenhoe Park, is now in the National Gallery of Art, Washington; the second, which represents the Quarters House, Alresford Hall, is now in the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
Catalogue of the Constable Collection, Graham Reynolds, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: HMSO, 1973, pp. 110, 111
The following is an extract from the text of the entry:

Page from a sketch-book, trimmed.
This page is from the same sketch-book as No. 147 [823-1888].

The first recorded visit by Constable to Wivenhoe Park, near Colchester, the seat of Major-General Rebow, was made in September 1812 (L. ed. S., p. 55). Writing to Maria Bicknell on 21 August 1816, on his return from another visit to General Rebow, Constable said “The general and Mrs. Rebow are determined to be of some service to me. I am going there again, and shall stay a week, in all probability [this he did at the end of August]…I am to paint two small landscapes for the general; on in the park, of the house, and a beautiful wood and piece of water; and another a wood, with a little fishing house, where the young lady (who is the heroine of all these scenes) goes occasionally to angle….They are both well acquainted with our history, and hope to see us there together” (L. ed. S., p. 93).
The former of these paintings, representing Wivenhoe Park, and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1817, is now in the National Gallery of Art, Washington: Widener Collection (reproduced in L. ed. M., Pl. 14). In this painting, two men are seen fishing from a boat, but neither the composition, nor the detail is taken from the drawing. The latter painting, which represents The Quarters House, Alresford Hall, is now the property of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

Associated names

Rebow, Major-General; Constable, Maria Bicknell

Materials

Pencil; Wash

Techniques

Drawn

Subjects depicted

Fishermen; Essex; Pond

Categories

Drawings

Collection code

PDP

Download image
Qr_O116955
Ajax-loader