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Watercolour - East Bergholt Church: north archway of the ruined tower
  • East Bergholt Church: north archway of the ruined tower
    John Constable, born 1776 - died 1837
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East Bergholt Church: north archway of the ruined tower

  • Object:

    Watercolour

  • Place of origin:

    East Bergholt (painted)

  • Date:

    ca. 1805-ca. 1811 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    John Constable, born 1776 - died 1837 (painter)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pencil and watercolour on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Isabel Constable, daughter of the artist

  • Museum number:

    343-1888

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

East Bergholt Church features frequently in Constable's watercolours, but this view of the ruined tower is relatively unusual. Images of ruins were a recurrent theme in Romantic art and literature. Constable would return to painting ruins after the death of his wife in 1828, when they took on a more personal significance.

This watercolour is difficult to date because Constable preserved the same manner in his watercolours of East Bergholt Church for a number of years. It was probably painted between 1805 and 1811.

Physical description

A watercolour depicting the archway of the ruined tower of East Bergholt Church.

Place of Origin

East Bergholt (painted)

Date

ca. 1805-ca. 1811 (painted)

Artist/maker

John Constable, born 1776 - died 1837 (painter)

Materials and Techniques

Pencil and watercolour on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'Drawing of East Bergholt Church by J. Constable'
'East Bergholt Church'

Dimensions

Height: 250 mm, Width: 199 mm

Object history note

This drawing has proven difficult to date because Constable preserved the manner which he used for watercolours of East Bergholt Church for a number of years. C. J. Holmes (1902) has dated it to June 1806, but Reynolds disagrees, arguing that it could have been painted between 1805 and 1811.

Historical context note

Ruins were a recurrent theme in Romantic art and literature; Constable would return to the subject in later years, most notably in Hadleigh Castle, painted after the death of his wife in 1829.

'Constable's only exhibit at the Royal Academy in 1806 was No. 65 [169-1888]. In June he was at East Bergholt, as is attested by Nos. 66 and 67 [224-1888 and 346-1888]. In the autumn he paid a visit of some two months to the Lake District and made many drawings, among them Nos. 72-94 [794-1888, 348-1888, 192-1888, 812-1888, 170-1888, 185-1888, 188-1888, 184-1888, 187-1888, 178-1888, 179-1888, 177-1888, 193-1888, 183-1888, 1256-1888, 596-1888, 181-1888, 182-1888, 1257-1888, 811-1888, 349-1888].

G Reynolds, 1973, p. 56

Descriptive line

Watercolour of East Bergholt Church, the north archway of the ruined tower, by John Constable

Materials

Pencil; Watercolour

Techniques

Watercolour

Subjects depicted

East Bergholt; Churches

Categories

Drawings

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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