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Collection

An image of Landscape with goatherd and goats by John Constable

John Constable

(England 11 Jun 1776 – 31 Mar 1837)

Title
Landscape with goatherd and goats
Year
1823
Media category
Painting
Materials used
oil on canvas
Dimensions

53.3 x 44.5 cm stretcher; 65.0 x 58.5 x 10.0 cm frame

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Credit
Gift of the National Art Collections Fund 1961
Accession number
OB1.1961
Location
15th–19th c European art
Further information

The faithful copying of works of art, usually famous ones, by earlier masters was accepted practice for apprentice painters from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century. Considered a vital part of visual education, it often implied homage as well. This is the case with John Constable's loving replication of Claude's 'Landscape with a goatherd and goats'. The English painter took pains to evoke the spirit of his French original, not simply to imitate its surface appearance. Thus the Constable could not be mistaken for the Claude despite adhering to it in every important respect of colouring and composition. The result is an imaginative effort fascinating on its own terms. Constable wrote to his wife, Maria, at the time, 'I have a little Claude in hand, a Grove scene of great beauty and I wish to make a nice copy from it to be useful to me as long as I live... It contains all that I wish to do in landscape'. Seldom in art history has a prophecy of such modesty proven so extravagantly true: Constable went on to redefine the landscape conventions of his period.

AGNSW Handbook, 1999.

Provenance (6)

Clifford Constable, pre 23 Jun 1894, England, This work remained in Constable's possession until his death in 1837. It passed to Isobel Constable and from her to Clifford Constable, being sold with his collection at Christie's London, 23 May 1894, lot no. 60.

P & D Colnaghi and Co, post 23 Jun 1894, London/England, Purchased at Christie's London, 23 June 1894 from Clifford Constable's sale lot no.60

Collector unknown, pre 01 Feb 1924, Anon. sale sold Christie's London, 1 February 1924, lot no. 10

Pawsey & Payne, post 01 Feb 1924, London/England, [dealer] Purchased from Christie's London, 1 February 1924, lot no.10

Appleby's, pre 1961, London/England, [dealer] Purchased by the National Art Collections Fund

National Art Collections Fund, pre 27 Jan 1961, London/England, Gift of the National Art Collections Fund 1961

Bibliography (19)

Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1961 Acquisitions, Sydney, 1961. cat.no. 41

R.B. Beckett (Editor), J. Constable's Correspondance, 'The Fishers 1823, July to December', England, 1962-1968, Volume 6: 142-143.

R.B. Beckett (Editor), J. Constable's Correspondance, 'Early friends and Maria Bicknel; Letters after marriage, 1816-1828', England, 1962-1968, Volume 2: 295, 297.

Robert Cafritz and Sir Lawrence Gowing, Places of delight: the pastoral landscape, London, 1988, 200 (illus.), 201. fig.no. 182

Penelope Curtin (Editor), Regency - British Art & Design 1800-1830, Adelaide, 1998, 58 (colour illus.). cat.no. 98

Renée Free, Art Gallery of New South Wales Handbook, 'European', pg. 36-56, Sydney, 1988, 38.

Renée Free, The Art Gallery of New South Wales Collections, 'The Western Heritage, Renaissance to Twentieth Century', pg. 108-172, Sydney, 1994, 118, 119 (colour illus.).

Renée Free, Art Gallery of New South Wales catalogue of British paintings, Sydney, 1987, 38 (illus.), 39.

John Gage, Constable: Impressions of land, sea and sky, 'Constable: the lessons of landscape', pg.20-53, Parkes, 2006, 20 (colour illus.), 28, 29 (colour illus.), 91, 204, 205 (colour illus.). cat.no. 55, illustration on page 20 is a detail

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales Handbook, 'Western Collection: Paintings and Sculpture', pg. 17-77, Sydney, 1999, 33 (colour illus.).

Michael Kitson, Turner et le Lorrain, 'Turner et Claude', pg.15-45, Paris, 2002, 20, 21 (colour illus.). fig.6

C.R. Leslie, Memoirs of Constable, London, 1951, 107-111.

Hal Missingham, Art Gallery of New South Wales Quarterly, 'Editorial notes', pg. 110, Sydney, Jul 1962, 110, 111, 113 (illus.).

C. Pace, The Burlington Magazine, Article written, London, Dec 1969, 733-738.

Leslie Parris and Ian Fleming-Williams, Constable, London, 1976, 134 (illus.), 135. cat.no. 223

Peter Tomory and Anne Kirker, British painting 1800-1990 in Australian and New Zealand public collections, Sydney, 1997, 67 (illus.). cat.no. 432

Humphrey Wine, National Gallery Catalogues: The Seventeenth Century French Paintings, London, 2001, 104, 180 (illus.). NG58 fig.5, illustrated in reference to the National Gallery's painting 'Landscape with a goatherd and goats' 1636-7 by Claude Lorrain.

Editor Unknown (Editor), Apollo, London, Jun 1960, VII. Appleby's advertisement no. 424

Editor Unknown (Editor), Art Gallery of New South Wales picturebook, Sydney, 1972, 22 (colour illus.).

Exhibition history (4)

Purchases and Acquisitions for 1961, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Apr 1962–25 May 1962

Constable, Tate Britain, England, 18 Feb 1976–25 Apr 1976

Regency - British Art & Design 1800-1830, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 08 Apr 1998–14 Jun 1998

Constable: Impressions of land, sea and sky: