John Constable, David Lucas

The Lock

published 1834

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Artists
John Constable 1776–1837
David Lucas 1802–1881
Medium
Mezzotint on paper
Dimensions
Image: 567 x 492 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1991
Reference
T06475

Display caption

The Lock was one of a sequence of large pictures of Suffolk canal scenes that Constable exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1819 and 1825. It shows a lock-keeper opening the gates of Flatford Lock while a barge waits in the basin for the water-level to drop.

When exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1824, the picture sold on the opening day – something unique in Constables career – for 150 guineas. The engraver SWReynolds offered to make a print of it at his own risk, but never finished it. This print was made by Reynold’s pupil, David Lucus, ten years later.

Gallery label, August 2004

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