Fishing with a net on the lake in Wivenhoe Park thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H , Shelf 12, Case WD

Fishing with a net on the lake in Wivenhoe Park

Drawing
1816 (drawn)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.'


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Pencil and grey wash on paper
Brief Description
Drawing of men fishing on the lake in Wivenhoe Park, by John Constable
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.
Dimensions
  • Height: 88mm
  • Width: 116mm
Page from a sketch-book, trimmed
Marks and Inscriptions
  • 'Wivenhoe Park July 27 1816' (Inscribed in top right corner in pencil by the artist)
  • 'J.C.' (Inscribed on the back in ink)
  • 'M.C.' (Inscribed on the back in pencil by the artist; the initials of his future wife.)
Credit line
Given by Isabel Constable, daughter of the artist
Object history
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
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]
Subjects depicted
Place Depicted
Associations
Summary
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.'
Bibliographic References
  • G. Reynolds, Victoria and Albert Museum: Catalogue of the Constable Collection, 1973, pp. 110-11, no. 146.
  • Catalogue of the Constable Collection, Graham Reynolds, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: HMSO, 1973, pp. 110, 111
Collection
Accession Number
D.233-1888

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record createdSeptember 22, 2005
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