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Drawing - Shipping, near Ipswich
  • Shipping, near Ipswich
    John Constable, born 1776 - died 1837
  • Enlarge image

Shipping, near Ipswich

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Suffolk (drawn)
    Ipswich (drawn)

  • Date:

    05/08/1815 (drawn)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pencil and paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Isabel Constable, daughter of the artist

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

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

Images of boat-building and shipping occupied a prominent place in Constable's work in 1815. Boat-building near Flatford Mill, an oil paintingalso in the Museum's collection and exhibited at the Royal Academy that year, is the best known work on this theme. This small drawing, on the other hand, was made during a journey home from visiting a friend near Ipswich. Many of Constable's drawings from 1815 centre on Suffolk, no doubt because he spent half the year there looking after his ailing father.

Physical description

A pencil drawing of a ship, with sails furled, at anchor on a riverbank. Some low-lying buildings on the bank at lower right, rolling landscape in the distance.

Place of Origin

Suffolk (drawn)
Ipswich (drawn)


05/08/1815 (drawn)


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

Materials and Techniques

Pencil and paper

Marks and inscriptions

'5 Augt 1815 Ipswich'
Inscribed below on right by the artist

Truncated watermark


Height: 115 mm, Width: 179 mm

Object history note

The drawing was made when Constable was returning from a visit to the Rev. F. H. Barnwell at Brightwell.

Historical context note

Scenes of shipping and boat-building occupied Constable for much of 1815; 'Boat-building near Flatford Mill' (Reynolds cat. no. 137), also painted in 1815, was exhibited at the Royal Academy that year.

In 1815 Constable exhibited five paintings and three drawings at the Royal Academy, including ‘Boat-building’ (No. 137). His mother died early this year and he was in Suffolk in May. He left London again for Suffolk on 6 July and remained there most of the year, being detained during December by his father’s serious illness.

[G Reynolds, 1973, p. 106]

Descriptive line

Drawing of shipping near Ipswich, by John Constable

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

Catalogue of the Constable Collection, Graham Reynolds, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: HMSO, 1973, pp. 106, 108





Subjects depicted





Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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