- Other Title
- Landscape with goatherd and goats
- Media category
- Materials used
- oil on canvas
- 53.3 x 44.5 cm stretcher/ canvas; 65.0 x 58.5 x 10.0 cm frame
- Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
- Gift of the National Art Collections Fund 1961
- Grand Courts
- Accession number
- Artist information
Works in the collection
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.
Shown in 7 exhibitions
Purchases and Acquisitions for 1961, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Apr 1962–25 May 1962
John Constable, the natural painter, Auckland City Art Gallery, Auckland, 25 Sep 1973–28 Oct 1973
John Constable, the natural painter, National Gallery of Victoria [St Kilda Road], Melbourne, 05 Nov 1973–07 Dec 1973
John Constable, the natural painter, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 18 Dec 1973–20 Jan 1974
Constable, paintings, watercolours and drawings, 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, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 03 Mar 2006–12 Jun 2006
Constable: Impressions of land, sea and sky, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, 05 Jul 2006–08 Oct 2006
Constable: The making of a master, Victoria and Albert Museum, England, 20 Sep 2014–11 Jan 2015
Grand Courts Collection Rehang, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Nov 2021–2025
Referenced in 20 publications
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales picturebook, Sydney, 1972, 22 (colour illus.).
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
Nicholas Chambers, The Sydney Modern Project. Transforming the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Between here and there: collecting and displaying modern and contemporary international art', Sydney, 2022, pp 142–57: p 146, col illus p 147.
Renée Free, AGNSW 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 handbook, 'European', pg. 36-56, Sydney, 1988, 38.
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.).
Anne Kirker and Peter Tomory, British painting 1800–1990 in Australian and New Zealand public collections, Sydney, 1997, 67 (illus.). cat.no. 432
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.
Christopher Menz, Regency - British Art & Design 1800-1830, Adelaide, 1998, 58 (colour illus.). cat.no. 98
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
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
Clifford Constable, England, This work remained in Constable's possession until his death in 1837. It passed to his daughter Isabel Constable (1822-88) and by descent to her nephew Clifford Constable, being sold with his collection at Christie's London, 23 May 1894, lot no. 60.
P & D Colnaghi and Co, London/England, Purchased at Christie's London, 23 June 1894 from Clifford Constable's sale lot no.60
Collector unknown, Anon. sale sold Christie's London, 1 February 1924, lot no. 10
Pawsey & Payne, London/England, [dealer] Purchased from Christie's London, 1 February 1924, lot no.10
Appleby's, London/England, [dealer] Purchased by the National Art Collections Fund
National Art Collections Fund, London/England, Gift of the National Art Collections Fund 1961