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Not currently on display at the V&A

Constable's sketchbook

July 1814 to October 1814 (made)
Place of origin

The sketchbook has drawings on 58 of its pages. It is full bound in brown leather, with (broken) metal clasp.

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Discover more about this object
read John Constable's sketches Today, the pencil, pen, watercolour and oil sketches produced by John Constable (1776 – 1837) in the open air are valued for their freshness and vitality. However, at the time when Constable was working, the public expected a highly polished oil painting, executed in the studio.

Object details

Object type
TitleConstable's sketchbook (popular title)
Materials and techniques
Brief description
Sketchbook of drawings by Constable.
Physical description
The sketchbook has drawings on 58 of its pages. It is full bound in brown leather, with (broken) metal clasp.
  • Height: 7.9cm (Note: Approximate dimension open: H (from front to back of footprint): 170mm X W (from left to right): 450mm X D (from the base to the topmost part of the book): 250mm)
  • Width: 10.8cm
  • Closed height: 85mm
  • Closed width: 115mm
  • Closed depth: 15mm
Approx dimensions open: H 80 x W 230 x 100. Measurements are approximate. May change once the book is mounted.
Credit line
Given by Isabel Constable, daughter of the artist
Historical context
In 1814 Constable exhibited at the Royal Academy 'Landscape: Ploughing scene in Suffolk' (see note on No. 122); also 'Landscape: the ferry', probably the painting 'Mill Stream' now in the Ipswich Museum. He visited the Revd. Mr. Driffield at Feering in June (see Nos. 124-128) and spent much of the rest of the year in Suffolk.

[G Reynolds, 1973, p. 90]
The Sketchbook was used in Essex and Suffolk between July and October 1814.
Bibliographic references
  • Parris, Leslie and Fleming-Williams, Ian. Constable London : The Tate Gallery, 1991 248
  • Parris, Leslie and Ian Fleming-Williams, Constable London : The Tate Gallery, 1991. ISBN 1854370707 / 1854370715. 544 p. : ill. (some col.).
  • Catalogue of the Constable Collection, Graham Reynolds, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: HMSO, 1973, pp. 90, 96-104
Other number
132, plates 102 to116 - Reynolds catalogue no.
Accession number

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Record createdJuly 10, 2006
Record URL
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