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John Constable, 1776–1837, British

Fulham Church from across the River

Graphite on medium, slightly textured, beige wove paper
Sheet: 11 5/8 x 17 3/8 inches (29.5 x 44.1 cm)

Inscribed in graphite, lower left: "Fulham 8th Sep.r..1818"; inscribed on verso in graphite, lower right: "Fulham September 8, 1818-"; inscribed in graphite, lower right: "4/4- | 995 | Cr[...] | Me[...]"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawings & Watercolors
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
boat | church | landscape | meteorology | rainbow | river | science
Associated Places:
England | Europe | Fulham | Greater London | London | Thames | United Kingdom
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This view beyond trees of the square tower of All Saints’ Parish Church at Fulham was taken from the south bank of the Thames, a little way upstream from Putney Bridge and Fulham Palace, the summer residence of the Bishop of London, and a little way downstream from Hammersmith. At that reach of the Thames, and in this position, the viewer’s eye is, in fact, directed due east, and the position of a partially obscured sun indicates that the time of day is therefore morning. On September 8, Constable made the trip from London to Putney Heath to visit his wife, Maria, who had been staying with her sister, Louisa Bicknell. Several other drawings he made on the same day are known, including a view of the semaphore on Putney Heath (The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge), a windmill at Barnes (private collection), and a view of Richmond Bridge, farther upstream, that Constable drew the next day (September 9). All of them appear to have been removed from the same sketchbook, and all amply demonstrate the mastery with which Constable extracted atmospheric and textural effects of astounding subtlety from the medium of lead pencil, unembellished with ink, wash, or any other addition or effect.

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. 97, pl. 97, N5220 M552 P38 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

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