View at East Bergholt over the kitchen garden of Golding Constable's house thumbnail 1
View at East Bergholt over the kitchen garden of Golding Constable's house thumbnail 2
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View at East Bergholt over the kitchen garden of Golding Constable's house

Drawing
ca. 1812-1816 (drawn)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Constable's characteristic use of zigzag shading is very much in evidence in this large and densely worked pencil drawing. He shows people working in his father’s kitchen garden to the right, and there is a cowherd to the left.

Constable had a life-long and rather nostalgic interest in agricultural work. He saw it as a 'natural' and satisfying employment. In fact, by the time that Constable was practising as an artist, traditional rural life had changed dramatically. Before the mid 18th century, land was usually farmed in strips that were owned by different individuals. With enclosure, these strips were reorganised into fields surrounded by hedges or fences. You can see this clearly in the background of the drawing. This was an expensive process. It meant that many poorer farmers were forced to sell their strips to wealthy landowners. Common land disappeared, so they could no longer graze their animals. Consequently, many moved to the new industrial towns and cities in order to survive.


Object details

Categories
Object type
TitleView at East Bergholt over the kitchen garden of Golding Constable's house (popular title)
Materials and techniques
Pencil on paper
Brief description
John Constable, 'View at East Bergholt over the kitchen garden of Golding Constable's house', c.1812-16, Reynolds cat. no. 176
Physical description
Very detailed sketch of a farmhouse with fields.
Dimensions
  • Height: 302mm
  • Width: 449mm
Style
Marks and inscriptions
  • J WHATMAN 1811 (watermark)
  • J RUSE 1804 (watermark on the two sheets of paper that comprise the mount.)
  • Mr. Constable (Ink inscription on the inside of one of the mounting sheets.)
  • From the Garden (inscribed in pencil on the back of the mount over the inscription by the artist The Garden belonging to G Constable Esq.)
Credit line
Bequeathed by Isabel Constable, daughter of the artist
Historical context
In 1819 Constable exhibited at the Royal Academy 'A scene on the River Stour' ('The White Horse'), bought by John Fisher, and now in the Frick Collection, New York (see the sketch-book No. 132, pp. 66 and 70). His second child Maria Louisa (Minna) was born on 19 July. He took a house at Hampstead for the first time at the end of the summer. He was elected A.R.A. on 1 November.

[G Reynolds, 1973, p. 121]
Subjects depicted
Summary
Constable's characteristic use of zigzag shading is very much in evidence in this large and densely worked pencil drawing. He shows people working in his father’s kitchen garden to the right, and there is a cowherd to the left.

Constable had a life-long and rather nostalgic interest in agricultural work. He saw it as a 'natural' and satisfying employment. In fact, by the time that Constable was practising as an artist, traditional rural life had changed dramatically. Before the mid 18th century, land was usually farmed in strips that were owned by different individuals. With enclosure, these strips were reorganised into fields surrounded by hedges or fences. You can see this clearly in the background of the drawing. This was an expensive process. It meant that many poorer farmers were forced to sell their strips to wealthy landowners. Common land disappeared, so they could no longer graze their animals. Consequently, many moved to the new industrial towns and cities in order to survive.
Bibliographic references
  • Parris, Leslie and Fleming-Williams, Ian. Constable London : The Tate Gallery, 1991 no. 254
  • Gray, Anne and John Gage, Constable: impressions of land, sea and sky, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2006
  • Catalogue of the Constable Collection, Graham Reynolds, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: HMSO, 1973, pp. 121, 124-125
Other number
176, plate 140. - Reynolds catalogue no.
Collection
Accession number
623-1888

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Record createdFebruary 23, 2004
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