Design for an illustration to Gray's 'Elegy', Stanza III. thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
Not currently on display at the V&A
On short term loan out for exhibition

Design for an illustration to Gray's 'Elegy', Stanza III.

Drawing
ca. 1833 (painted)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This design is for an illustration of the following lines of poetry: 'Save from that yonder ivy-mantled tower/ The moping owl doth to the moon complain'. They are from 'Elegy in a country churchyard' (1750) by Thomas Gray (1716-1771). The poem celebrates the contemplative and philosophical aspects of the night. It remained popular throughout the 19th century, when the celebrated artist John Constable drew this design.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Charcoal and grey wash on laid paper
Brief description
Watercolour by John Constable, 'Design for ill. to Gray's 'Elegy'
Physical description
Charcoal and grey wash on laid paper, design for an illustration to Gray's 'Elegy', Stanza III. Image shows a moonlit ivy covered tower.
Dimensions
  • Height: 10cm
  • Width: 16.3cm
(checked by S.Solicari 01/07/05)
Style
Marks and inscriptions
Probably Britannia in a cartouche (truncated watermark)
Credit line
Given by Isabel Constable
Historical context
'In 1833 Constable exhibited four oil paintings and three drawings at the Royal Academy: the former included 'Englefield House, Berkshire ... morning' (see Nos. 340-344 [345-1888, 255-1888, 1258-1888, 1258a-1888, 1258b-1888]) and 'Cottage in a Cornfield' (No. 352 [1631-1888]). He gave his first lecture in Hampstead this year. '



[G Reynolds, 1973, p. 210]
Subjects depicted
Literary reference'Elegy in a country churchyard', Stanza III, by Thomas Gray.
Summary
This design is for an illustration of the following lines of poetry: 'Save from that yonder ivy-mantled tower/ The moping owl doth to the moon complain'. They are from 'Elegy in a country churchyard' (1750) by Thomas Gray (1716-1771). The poem celebrates the contemplative and philosophical aspects of the night. It remained popular throughout the 19th century, when the celebrated artist John Constable drew this design.
Bibliographic reference
Catalogue of the Constable Collection, Graham Reynolds, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: HMSO, 1973, pp. 210, 214, 215
Other number
355, plate 258 - Reynolds catalogue no.
Collection
Accession number
813-1888

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 createdJune 27, 2005
Record URL
Download as: JSONIIIF Manifest