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Oil painting - Weymouth Bay
  • Weymouth Bay
    John Constable, born 1776 - died 1837
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Weymouth Bay

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (painted)

  • Date:

    1816 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    John Constable, born 1776 - died 1837 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    oil on canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Isabel Constable

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, room WS, case 29, shelf L

Constable painted this sketch of Bowleaze Cove in Weymouth Bay during his honeymoon. It served as a study for a painting that was exhibited three years later. The figures on the beach may represent his hosts, the Reverend and Mrs Fisher, or the artist and his bride.

Physical description

Oil painting of a beach scene with figures.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (painted)


1816 (painted)


John Constable, born 1776 - died 1837 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

oil on canvas

Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed (monogram) in ink by the artist, back


Height: 20.3 cm estimate, Width: 24.7 cm estimate, Height: 41 cm frame, Width: 46 cm frame, Height: 45.2 cm Frame, Width: 50.3 cm Frame

Object history note

Given by Isabel Constable, 1888

Historical context note

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]

Descriptive line

Oil sketch of a Coastal landscape by John Constable, England, 1816

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.)
Morris, Edward, ed. Constable's Clouds: Paintings and Cloud Studies by John Constable , Edinburgh : National Galleries of Scotland ; Liverpool : National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside, c2000. 176 p. : ill. (some col.). ISBN 1903278058 (paperback), 1903278066 (hardback).
Passion for Paint. A National Gallery Touring Exhibition in Partnership with Bristol's Museums, Galleries & Archives Service and Tyne & Wear Museums Exhibition pamphlet.
Catalogue of the Constable Collection, Graham Reynolds, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: HMSO, 1973, pp. 110, 114, 115
Timothy Wilcox, Constable and Salisbury. The Soul of Landscape London: Scala Publishers Ltd, 2011. ISBN: 978 1 85759 678 6.

Labels and date

"Label" created for Elise Load [Author unknown]:
After their marriage in 1816, John and Maria Constable spent most of their honeymoon at Osmington, near Weymouth, Dorset. The artist must have painted this on the spot, during a sudden spell of stormy weather. The immediacy of his reaction and expression is a quality we associate more with French Impressionism of some fifty years later, but it reminds us that Constable's work was much admired in France (another version of Weymouth Bay is today in the Louvre in Paris) and influenced two generations of French painters. Especially notable here are the figures, walking their dogs on the beach and battling their umbrellas against the wind, conjured from a few rapid strokes of his brush. It is also a fine example of Constable's thesis that 'it will be difficult to name a class of landscape in which the sky is not the key note, the standard of scale, and the chief organ of sentiment'. []


Oil paint; Canvas


Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Dog (animal); Sea; Beach




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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