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Creator:
John Constable, 1776–1837, British
Title:

East Bergholt Church

Former Title(s):

A Shower, East Bergholt

East Bergholt House from Church Street

Shower at East Bergholt

Date:
1809
Medium:
Oil on paper mounted to panel
Dimensions:
Support (PTG): 7 15/16 x 6 3/16 inches (20.2 x 15.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
B2001.2.237
Classification:
Paintings
Collection:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
buildings | church | clouds | clouds | houses | landscape | rain | road | study (visual work)
Associated Places:
East Bergholt | England | Europe | Suffolk | United Kingdom
Access:
Not on view
Link:
https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:38536
Export:
XML

Contrary to the wording of the title, this exquisitely fresh oil study directs the eye of the viewer north along Church Street in Constable’s home village of East Bergholt. In the middle ground, a red-brick shop partially obscures the tower that in the sixteenth century was added to one side of the medieval church building. Constable’s maternal grandfather had been rector of East Bergholt church, and as a young boy the artist had worshiped there with his family.

Gallery label for An American's Passion for British Art - Paul Mellon's Legacy (Yale Center for British Art, 2007-04-18 - 2007-07-29)
Contrary to the wording of the title by which it is now generally known, this exquisitely fresh oil study directs the eye of the viewer north along Church Street in the village of East Bergholt, from a position slightly adjacent to the village green, barely one hundred yards from Constable's birthplace, East Bergholt House. In the middle ground, a red-brick shop partially obscures the tower that in the sixteenth century was added to the side of the medieval church facing the street, but never completed. Stands of trees that surround the church and partially obscure the peculiarities of its hybrid form also prevented Constable from finding an unobstructed vantage point from which to record a view of the whole building. Constable's maternal grandfather had been rector of East Bergholt church. When Constable was growing up, he worshiped there with his family on Sundays and walked past the church on his way to and from Dedham Grammar School. At that time, the sundial on the porch carried the elementary Latin inscription "Ut umbra sic vita" (Life is like [a] shadow).

Angus Trumble

John Baskett, Paul Mellon's legacy: a passion for British art : masterpieces from the Yale Center for British Art, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, p. 287, no. 96, N5220 M552 P38 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA)



Among the highlights of Paul Mellon's bequest is a group of early oil sketches by Constable, painted in and around the artist's home village of East Bergholt, Suffolk. The young Constable's favorite subjects were village landmarks such as the parish church and East Bergholt House - his family home and birthplace - and everyday sights in the valley of the river Stour, where his father Golding Constable owned watermills. Sketching in oils outdoors, in front of the motifs, he tried to see the world afresh and create a more natural form of landscape painting.

Malcolm Warner

Warner, Malcolm and John Baskett. The Paul Mellon Bequest : treasures of a lifetime. New Haven : Yale Center for British Art, 2001, p. 28

John Baskett, Paul Mellon's Legacy: a Passion for British Art: Masterpieces from the Yale Center for British Art, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, p. 287, no. 96, pl. 96, N5220 M552 P38 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Ian Fleming-Williams, The discovery of Constable, H. Hamilton, London, 1984, pp. 127-28, NJ18.C74 F55 (YCBA)

Robert Hoozee, L'opera completa di Constable, 98, Rizzoli, Milano, Italy, 1979, p. 94, no. 69, NJ18 C74 A12 +H66 (YCBA)

Leeds Art Gallery, Catalogue of a Loan Exhibition of Works by and after John Constable, R.A. (1776-1837, Leeds, 1913, p. 57, no. 115, Fiche B46 (YCBA)

Paul Mellon, Reflections in a silver spoon, a memoir , W. Morrow, New York, 1992, btwn pp.382-83, N5220 M552 1992 (YCBA)

Leslie Parris, Constable, paintings, watercolours & drawings , Tate Publishing, London, UK, 1976, pp. 93-96, NJ18 C74 P37 + (YCBA)

Leslie Parris, Constable, Tate Publishing, London, UK, 1991, p. 93, no. 27, pl. 27, NJ18 C74 P372 1991 + (YCBA)

Graham Reynolds, The early paintings and drawings of John Constable, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, New Haven, 1996, p. 135 (v. 1), no. 9.39 (v. 2), pl. 755 (v. 2), NJ18 C74 R484 1996 + (YCBA)

Charles Rhyne, A Slide Collection of Constable Paintings, Visual Resources, V. 4, 1987, p. 59, fig. 5, N4000 V57 (HAAS)

Ian St. John, East Bergholt, Constable country , Suffolk Walker, Colchester [England], 2002, p. 16, no. 21, V 0955 (YCBA)

The catalogue of a centenary memorial exhibition of John Constable, his origins and influence : illustrating the various periods of his work, also the work of his predecessors, and his influence on the art of his successors : 21st April to 29th May, 1937, held at Messrs. Wildenstein's Galleries , Wildenstein Galleries, London, 1937, pp. 22, 37, no. 30, NJ18 C74 T87 (YCBA)

Malcolm Warner, The Paul Mellon Bequest : treasures of a lifetime, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2001, p. 28, N5247 M385 P28 2001 (YCBA)

Giles Waterfield, Mr Mellon, RA : the magazine for the Friends of the Royal Academy, No. 96, Autumn 2007, pp. 71, 122, V 1905 (YCBA) Detached from RA, no.96 (2007:Autumn)


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