Stoke-by-Nayland thumbnail 1
Stoke-by-Nayland thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H , Case WD, Shelf 20, Box C

Stoke-by-Nayland

Drawing
ca. 1830 (drawn)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Constable departed from his usual practice of sketching from nature in this depiction of Stoke-by-Nayland by moonlight. This studio composition alters the height and shape of the church tower, as well as the shape of the hill in the background. It is possible he intended to make a generalised image that could be taken for any church and village, rather than a specific site. Ironically, a mezzotint engraving made after this drawing by David Lucas is more topographically exact.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Sepia and paper
Brief Description
Drawing of Stoke-by-Nayland, Suffolk, by John Constable
Physical Description
A sepia sketch of the village of Stoke-by-Nayland, with the church tower dominating the composition. Hills and a cloudy sky in the background.
Dimensions
  • Height: 127mm
  • Width: 183mm
Style
Object history
This sepia sketch is closely connected with the oil sketch of the same scene (150-1888, Reynolds cat. no. 330) and with the published state of the mezzotint 'Stoke by Neyland [sic]' by David Lucas. It appears to be a studio composition rather than a study from nature; the church tower does not resemble that at Stoke-by-Nayland and the hill is not topographically exact. The drawing may in fact have been made when there was some intention of generalising the scene into that of a church in a village.



Historical significance: This sketch, together with Reynolds cat. nos. 17-20, was one of the only drawings by Constable in the Museum before the gifst made by Miss Isabel Constable, his last surviving daughter, in 1888. It was purchased from Messrs. Hogarth and Sons in May 1876.
Historical context
‘In 1830 Constable was a member of the Hanging Committee of the Royal Academy (see the note to No. 321 [FA 38] above). He exhibited views of Helmingham Park and Hampstead Heath and another landscape at the Royal Academy. The first number of English Landscape Scenery was published in June or July.’



[G Reynolds, 1973, p.198]



This is one of several works by Constable after which David Lucas engraved mezzotints, published in 1831.
Subject depicted
Places Depicted
Summary
Constable departed from his usual practice of sketching from nature in this depiction of Stoke-by-Nayland by moonlight. This studio composition alters the height and shape of the church tower, as well as the shape of the hill in the background. It is possible he intended to make a generalised image that could be taken for any church and village, rather than a specific site. Ironically, a mezzotint engraving made after this drawing by David Lucas is more topographically exact.
Bibliographic References
  • Catalogue of the Constable Collection, Graham Reynolds, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: HMSO, 1973, pp. 198, 200, 201
  • Hon. A. Shirley, Mezzotints by David Lucas after Constable, 1930, p. 21.
  • M. Davies, The National Gallery Catalogues: British School, 1946, pp. 31-2.
Other Number
331, plate 246 - Reynolds catalogue no.
Collection
Accession Number
261-1876

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record createdOctober 20, 2005
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