Stonehenge thumbnail 1
Stonehenge thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Stonehenge

Watercolour
1835 (painted)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Constable painted this watercolour at a sad time in his life. Both his wife, Maria, and his closest friend, John Fisher, had died, and his two eldest sons had left home. He is perhaps expressing his personal unhappiness in the watercolour, for the image is certainly a melancholy one. The painting was exhibited in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition of 1836. Some of the lines that accompanied this painting in the catalogue describe 'The mysterious monument of Stonehenge, standing remote on a bare and boundless heath...'. Constable himself probably wrote them.
read The history of Glastonbury Festival In 2014, the V&A acquired guardianship of the Glastonbury Festival Archive. Glastonbury Festival located on Worthy Farm, Pilton, Somerset is the largest greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world. The archive shows how the Festival has developed exponentially over the past ...
object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Watercolour
Brief Description
Watercolour, 'Stonehenge' by Constable, 1835
Physical Description
Watercolour of stonehenge with a colourful sky.
Dimensions
  • Height: 11.5cm
  • Width: 18.1cm
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
'Stonehenge" The mysterious monument of Stonehenge, standing remote on a bare and boundless heath, as much unconnected with the events of past ages as it is with the uses of the present, carries you back beyond all historical records into the obscurity of a totally unknown period"' (Inscribed on the mount in ink in a careful script.)
Credit line
Bequeathed by Isabel Constable, daughter of the artist
Historical context
'In 1836 Constable's two exhibits at the Royal Academy were the 'Cenotaph to the memory of Sir Joshua Reynolds' (now in the Tate Gallery, No. 1272) and the watercolour 'Stonehenge' (No. 395 [1629-1888]). He gave four lectures on 'The History of Landscape Painting' at the Royal Institution in May and June of this year and his last lecture, at Hampstead, on 25 July. Constable died on 31 March 1837. His almost completed painting 'Arundel Mill and Castle' (now in the Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio; see No. 379 [260-1888]) was exhibited posthumously at the Royal Academy.'



[G Reynolds, 1973, p. 233]
Subjects depicted
Places Depicted
Summary
Constable painted this watercolour at a sad time in his life. Both his wife, Maria, and his closest friend, John Fisher, had died, and his two eldest sons had left home. He is perhaps expressing his personal unhappiness in the watercolour, for the image is certainly a melancholy one. The painting was exhibited in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition of 1836. Some of the lines that accompanied this painting in the catalogue describe 'The mysterious monument of Stonehenge, standing remote on a bare and boundless heath...'. Constable himself probably wrote them.
Bibliographic References
  • Parris, Leslie and Ian Fleming-Williams, Constable London : The Tate Gallery, 1991. ISBN 1854370707 / 1854370715. 544 p. : ill. (some col.)
  • Making History : Antiquaries in Britain 1707-2007, London : Royal Academy of Arts, 2007no.168
  • Catalogue of the Constable Collection, Graham Reynolds, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: HMSO, 1973, p. 233
  • Evans, M., with N. Costaras and C. Richardson, John Constable. Oil Sketches from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London: V&A, 2011, p. 33, fig. 31.
  • Lambert, Susan. Drawing: Technique & Purpose. London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 1981. p.53.
  • Timothy Wilcox, Constable and Salisbury. The Soul of Landscape London: Scala Publishers Ltd, 2011. ISBN: 978 1 85759 678 6.
  • Coombs, Katherine British watercolours : 1750-1950 . London: V&A Publications, 2012p.73, pl.61
  • p. 177Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser and T. J. Barringer Thomas Cole's journey : Atlantic crossings New York : The Metropolitan Museum of Art, [2018]. ISBN: 9781588396402
  • Royal Academy of Arts Bicentenary Exhibition, 1768-1968, London : Royal Academy of Arts, 1968555
  • La Peinture Romantique Anglaise et les Préraphaélites, Paris : Petit Palais, 197263
  • Taylor, Basil, Constable: Paintings, drawings and watercolours, London, Phaidon, 1973
Other Number
395, plate 296 - Reynolds catalogue no.
Collection
Accession Number
1629-1888

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdFebruary 17, 2003
Record URL