• The Tomb of James Gubbins, Epsom Churchyard -
    Price on request

    Inscribed lower left: Epsom June 11.1816 and inscribed verso: Beneath this stone are deposited/the mortal remains of/James Gubbins Esqr of Epsom/who departed this life on the/7th day of June 1814 - Aged 69. And it is/also inscribed to the memory of/his son Captn James Gubbins/of the 13th Dragoons who was killed/in the 18th of June 1815 - in the battle/of Waterloo in Flanders/Epsom 11th 1816

    Pencil

    18 by 11.2 cm., 7 by 4 ¼ in.

     

    Provenance:

    The 28th Earl of Crawford (1900-1975)

    By descent to the present owner

     

    This drawing dates from a previously unrecorded trip to Epsom by Constable in June 1816, presumably to see his aunt on his mother's side Mary Gubbins. The subject of the present drawing, and the inscription on the reverse, suggests he was also there to see the newly installed tombstone for his uncle James. Constable's own parents had recently died, his mother in March 1815 and his father on 14th May 1816 and Graham Reynolds points out that the design of James Gubbins's tomb closely resembles Constable's parents' tomb in East Bergholt. The present drawing reinforces the theory that the latter was based on the former.

     

    The size of the present drawing suggests it originates from the sketchbook used by Constable in 1815 and 1816. Graham Reynolds lists other drawings from this sketchbook which he calls 1815 (a) (see Graham Reynolds, The Early Paintings and Drawings of John Constable, 1996, no.257).

     

    Constable made two other more finished drawings of this subject in 1822 (see Graham Reynolds, The Later Paintings and Drawings of John Constable, 1984, nos. 22.7 and 22.8).

     

    We are grateful to Anne Lyles for her help in cataloguing this drawing.

  • The Porch at East Bergholt Church, Suffolk -
    Price on request

    With an ink off-print verso

    Pencil

    17.3 by 11.4 cm., 6 ¾ by 4 ½ in.

     

    Provenance:

    The 28th Earl of Crawford (1900-1975)

    By descent to the present owner

     

    This appears to show one of the ruined arches of the unfinished tower of East Bergholt Church, probably the north one (see Graham Reynolds, The Early Paintings and Drawings of John Constable, 1996, nos. 6.4, 6.6, 6.8 and 6.9) and is likely to originate from the same sketchbook as `Tomb of James Gubbins, Epsom’ used in 1815 and 1816.

     

    The ink markings on the reverse of this drawing indicate that it was drawn with an apparatus invented by Constable to record as accurately as possible what the main outline of what he saw in front of him. He got the idea from a new edition of Leonardo da Vinci’s Treatise on Painting which he bought in 1796. Two of these tracing were included in the exhibition of Constable drawings at Dulwich Picture Gallery in 1994 and the process is described in full (see Constable – a Master Draughtsman, exhibition catalogue, 1994, nos. 23 and 24, p.130-133). These drawings of Flatford Lock and East Bergholt House were dated 24th November 1813 and 5th October 1814 respectively.

     

     

    We are grateful to Anne Lyles for her help in cataloguing this drawing.

  • Study of a Churchyard -
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    pencil on laid paper

    9.5 by 7.5cm., 3 3/4 by 3 inches

     

    This drawing dates from 1833 and was a preliminary study for an illustration to stanza V of Thomas Gray?s ?Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard?. Constable had been asked by his friend John Martin to design some illustrations for a new edition of Gray?s poems which he was planning. Three engravings after works by Constable appeared in the first edition published in 1834 and one more in the second edition of 1836.

     

    Two watercolour studies for the engraving are in the British Museum including the watercolour which was engraved for publication (see Parris, Fleming-Williams and Shields, op.cit., nos.298 and 299, p.173, ill.). This drawing is a study for the left hand part of the watercolour and is of an unknown church ? it does not appear to show Stoke Poges church where Gray wrote his `Elegy?. The right hand part of the watercolour is based on a tiny sketch of a man leaning on a fence from a 1813 sketchbook (see Fleming-Williams, op.cit., ill.)

     

    Provenance:

    Anonymous sale, Sotheby?s, 18th November 1971, lot 50 (part of an album);

    William Darby;

    By descent until 2008

     

    Literature:

    Ian Fleming-Williams, Constable - Landscape Watercolours and Drawings, Tate Gallery, 1976, p.106, pl.77;

    Leslie Parris, Ian Fleming-Williams and Conal Shields, Constable ? Paintings, Watercolours & Drawings, 1976, p.174, under no.301;

    Graham Reynolds, The Later Paintings and Drawings of John Constable, 1984, no.33.19, pl. 873

     

    Exhibited:

    London, William Darby, Exhibition of Drawings by John Constable R.A., May 1972, no.24;

    London, Jocelyn Fielding Gallery, An Exhibition of Drawings by John Constable R.A., 1979

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