Weymouth Bay thumbnail 1
Weymouth Bay thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, room WS , Shelf 90, Case R, Box R

Weymouth Bay

Oil Painting
1816 (painted)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
oil on canvas
Brief Description
Oil sketch of a Coastal landscape by John Constable, England, 1816
Physical Description
Oil painting of a beach scene with figures.
Dimensions
  • Height: 45.2cm
  • Estimate width: 24.7cm
  • Frame height: 45.2cm (Note: Taken from frame)
  • Frame width: 50.3cm (Note: Taken from frame)
  • Width: 50.3cm
Dimensions taken from Catalogue of the Constable Collection, Graham Reynolds, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: HMSO, 1973
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
'JC' (Inscribed (monogram) in ink by the artist, back)
Gallery Label
"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'.
Credit line
Given by Isabel Constable
Object history
Given by Isabel Constable, 1888
Historical context
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]
Subjects depicted
Place Depicted
Summary
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.
Bibliographic References
  • Parris, Leslie and Fleming-Williams, Ian. Constable London : The Tate Gallery, 1991no.84
  • 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.
  • Feaver, William, Lucian Freud on John Constable, London, British Council, 2003
Other Number
155, plate 127 - Reynolds catalogue no.
Collection
Accession Number
330-1888

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record createdDecember 15, 1999
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