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Oil painting - The Leaping Horse (full-scale study)
  • The Leaping Horse (full-scale study)
    John Constable, born 1776 - died 1837
  • Enlarge image

The Leaping Horse (full-scale study)

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (painted)

  • Date:

    ca. 1825 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    John Constable, born 1776 - died 1837 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Henry Vaughan

  • Museum number:

    986-1900

  • Gallery location:

    Paintings, Room 87, The Edwin and Susan Davies Galleries, case SOUTH WALL

Physical description

This is catalogue no.286 in Reynolds "Catalogue of the Constable Collection" (1960), plate 216.

This is the full-scale study for the painting exhibited by Constable at the Royal Academy in 1825 as simply "Landscape" (no.224). This is now in the diploma Gallery of the Royal Academy, London, to which it was given by Mrs Dawkins in 1889.

The early history of this full-scale study, and also of the full-scale study for "The Hay-Wain (also in the V&A, museum number 987-1900, Reynolds cat. no. 209) is unclear. Constable was very keen on keeping his studies; "He used to say...that he had no objection to part with the corn, but not with the field that grew it" (quoted in R and S. Redgrave "A Century of Painters, Vol.II, 1866, p.396). So it is likely that Constable would have kept both until his death. At the Executors' sale on 16th May 1838 there is a listing for "Two - Sketches of Landscapes..." which are believed to have been these two large studies. This lot was boght apparently on behalf of Constable's family, and in that event it seems that both these sketches may have remained for a while as the property of the artist's family.

The next information about the two works comes from some notes on "The Hay Wain" by Mr. Henry Vaughan, who owned the final version of "The Hay Wain" and gave it to the National Gallery in 1886 - his notes were also bequeathed to the National Gallery. In these he wrote "The two studies... have now [1886] been exhibited at the kensington Museum [V&A] for many years... They were first seen by me at the house of Mr. C. R. Leslie, RA. [Constable's friend and biographer] who admired them greatly. Eventually they came into my possession, by purchase of Mr D. G. White...". Leslie was storing the paintings "for want of room elsewhere". He cleaned the surfaces with the help of his son R.C. Leslie, who also made small copies of each. Mr D.T.White was a dealer who was active in the 1850s. Mr Vaughan lent the sketches to the Kensington Museum [V&A] in or before 1862. The earliest reference to them in the Museum's records is contained in a list of pictures on loan on 24th October 1862. Interestingly it is noted that at the time of the International Exhibition in London in 1862, it was possible to compare the sketch of "The Hay Wain", hung in the Sheepshanks Galleries, with the completed work which was then hanging in the next door gallery. The sketches seem to have remained permanently on loan in the Museum except when the were lent to the International Exhibition in London in 1874, and to the Edinburgh International Exhibition in 1886. Mr Vaughan died in 1900 whereupon his bequest of the two works to the Museum came into effect.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (painted)

Date

ca. 1825 (painted)

Artist/maker

John Constable, born 1776 - died 1837 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

Height: 129.4 cm, Width: 188.0 cm, Height: 155 cm Frame, Width: 214.5 cm Frame

Object history note

Provenance:
The early history of this full-scale study, and also of the full-scale study for "The Hay-Wain (also in the V&A, museum number 987-1900, Reynolds cat. no. 209) is unclear. Constable was very keen on keeping his studies; "He used to say...that he had no objection to part with the corn, but not with the field that grew it" (quoted in R and S. Redgrave "A Century of Painters, Vol.II, 1866, p.396). So it is likely that Constable would have kept both until his death. At the Executors' sale on 16th May 1838 there is a listing for "Two - Sketches of Landscapes..." which are believed to have been these two large studies. This lot was boght apparently on behalf of Constable's family, and in that event it seems that both these sketches may have remained for a while as the property of the artist's family.

The next information about the two works comes from some notes on "The Hay Wain" by Mr. Henry Vaughan, who owned the final version of "The Hay Wain" and gave it to the National Gallery in 1886 - his notes were also bequeathed to the National Gallery. In these he wrote "The two studies... have now [1886] been exhibited at the kensington Museum [V&A] for many years... They were first seen by me at the house of Mr. C. R. Leslie, RA. [Constable's friend and biographer] who admired them greatly. Eventually they came into my possession, by purchase of Mr D. G. White...". Leslie was storing the paintings "for want of room elsewhere". He cleaned the surfaces with the help of his son R.C. Leslie, who also made small copies of each. Mr D.T.White was a dealer who was active in the 1850s. Mr Vaughan lent the sketches to the Kensington Museum [V&A] in or before 1862. The earliest reference to them in the Museum's records is contained in a list of pictures on loan on 24th October 1862. Interestingly it is noted that at the time of the International Exhibition in London in 1862, it was possible to compare the sketch of "The Hay Wain", hung in the Sheepshanks Galleries, with the completed work which was then hanging in the next door gallery. The sketches seem to have remained permanently on loan in the Museum except when the were lent to the International Exhibition in London in 1874, and to the Edinburgh International Exhibition in 1886. Mr Vaughan died in 1900 whereupon his bequest of the two works to the Museum came into effect.

Historical context note

In 1825 Constable exhibited at the Royal Academy three paintings called 'Landscape'. One was 'The Leaping Horse' (now in the Diploma Gallery, Burlington House; see No. 286 [Museum No. 986-1900]; the other two were views of Hampstead Heath (sold to Mr. F. Darby). His fifth child, Emily, was born on 29 March.

Descriptive line

Oil painting, Full-scale study for 'The Leaping Horse', John Constable, 1825

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

no.161
Parris, Leslie and Fleming-Williams, Ian. Constable London : The Tate Gallery, 1991
Lyles, Anne (Ed.), Constable : The Great Landscapes, London, Tate Publishing, 2006
Feaver, William, Lucian Freud on John Constable, London, British Council, 2003

Materials

Oil paint; Canvas

Techniques

Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Horses (animals)

Categories

Paintings

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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