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Willy Lott's House, near Flatford Mill

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain, Uk (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1810-1815 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Constable, John RA, born 1776 - died 1837 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Isabel Constable

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, room WS, case 20, shelf R

Physical description

A view of Willy Lott's house is on either side of the paper in oil.

Place of Origin

Great Britain, Uk (made)


ca. 1810-1815 (made)


Constable, John RA, born 1776 - died 1837 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Oil on paper


Height: 24.1 cm approx., Width: 18.1 cm approx., Height: 57 cm Frame, Width: 41.8 cm Frame

Object history note

Given by Isabel Constable, 1888

Historical context note

'In the year 1811 Constable's exhibits at the Royal Academy comprised 'Twilight', and 'Dedham Vale: morning' (now in the collection of Sir Richard Proby). He visited Suffolk in the spring and paid his first visit to Salisbury in the autumn: this was probably the occasion of his first meeting with John Fisher, who was to become his closest friend. His attachment to Maria Bicknell became known during this year, and he received her father's permission to write to her in October.'

[G Reynolds, 1973, p. 69]

Descriptive line

Oil sketch, 'Willy Lott's House, near Flatford Mill' by Constable.

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

Parris, Leslie and Ian Fleming-Williams, Constable London : The Tate Gallery, 1991. ISBN 1854370707 / 1854370715. 544 p. : ill. (some col.).
Exhibition catalogue
Lyles, Anne, ed. Constable : The Great Landscapes London: Tate Publishing, 2006. ISBN: 1854375830.
Exhibition catalogue.
Catalogue of the Constable Collection, Graham Reynolds, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: HMSO, 1973, pp. 69, 74, 75, 77
The following is an extract from the text of the entry:

"As numbered here the view on the recto is taken nearer the house, and shows a black-and-white dog running along the footpath by the side of the stream; No. 110a is taken from slightly further away, and the footpath curves off the picture at the left. The cottage is seen from a slightly different angle in the latter, and a horse grazing in the foreground is seen from behind.

No. 329a [787-1888] is regarded in this Catalogue as a later replica of No. 110a [166-1888] with suggestions from No. 110 [166-1888]. Lucas’s mezzotint (S. 33) of Willy Lott’s house and its relation to Nos. 110 [166-1888], 110a [166-1888] and 329a [787-1888] are discussed in the note on the latter. The relationship of these two sketches to other paintings by Constable of the same subject, and the extent to which this makes it possible to form an estimate of their date, is discussed in the notes made by Davies, pp. 23-6 on ‘The Hay-Wain’ (N.G. 1207). He gives reasons for believing that the ‘Mill Stream’ ion the Ipswich Museum was being painted in 1814. It may be the work exhibited as ‘Landscape: the Ferry’ at the Royal Academy that year. The version of the same composition at the Tate Gallery (No. 1816) (reproduced in L. ed. S., Pl. 43), which indeed appears to be a ketch for the Ipswich picture which was at that time Constable’s most careful treatment of the theme of Willy Lott’s house. This would suggest a date of c.1811-14 for Nos. 110 [166-1888] and 110a [166-1888], if Holmes’s estimate for the Tate Gallery’s picture No. 1816 is accepted. This result is in accordance with the agreement in style between the two sketches and No. 109 [134-1888] above, here dated c.1810-15. A small sketch of Willy Lott’s house also at Ipswich Museum, which is comparable in style with Nos. 110 [166-1888] and 110a [166-1888], is, however, dated on the back 23 July 1816; it was No. 28 in the exhibition of the works of Constable at Manchester City Art Gallery, 1956. Davies (loc. cit.) suggests that Constable may have used Nos. 110 [166-1888] and 110a [166-1888] for ‘The Hay-Wain’ though the sketches may well have been made “long before”. He points out that the feature of a browsing horse in No. 110a [166-1888] was used, with a boy on it, for the finished picture, but was used in the full-scale sketch for ‘The Hay-Wain’ (No. 209 [987-1900] below). These considerations alone would show that the dating of c.1824 given by Holmes, p. 247, for No. 110 [166-1888] is too late, since ‘The Hay-Wain’ is of 1821.

Note on Nos. 109-113 [134-1888, 166-1888, 161-1888, 130-1888, 145-1888]

Nos. 109-113 form a miscellaneous and somewhat unhomogeneous group. Most of them have either been assigned to a date near 1811 or may be compared with another oil sketch assigned to that date. Accordingly, though their general character hardly warrants a dating more exact than c.1810-15 or within even wider limits, they are grouped together here. Their relationship to Nos. 100 [326-1888] and 101 [128-1888], the earliest oil sketches in the Museum to show the full effect of the revolution in Constable's style, helps to justify this grouping."

Exhibition History

Constable : The Great Landscapes (The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens 03/02/2007-29/04/2007)
Constable : The Great Landscapes (National Gallery of Art, Washington DC 01/10/2006-31/12/2006)
Constable : The Great Landscapes (Tate Gallery 01/06/2006-28/08/2006)
Turner and Constable and their European Contemporaries (Statens Museum fur Kunst, Copenhagen 04/09/2004-09/01/2005)
Constable: a breath of fresh air (The Millennium Galleries, Sheffield 08/02/2003-27/04/2003)
John Constable, selected by Lucian Freud (Grand Palais 10/10/2002-13/01/2003)
Constable (Tate Gallery 13/06/1991-15/09/1991)


Paper; Oil paint


Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Cottage; East Bergholt



Collection code


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