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Constable painted portraits from the early years of his career, but in 1818 he took on a particularly large number of commissions. The sitter for this work, Mrs James Andrew (née Jane Falding), is said to have come from a Yorkshire family. Constable pays attention to her extravagant outfit and elaborate headdress which reflects the social standing of the sitter. A letter to Constable from his brother, Abram, suggests that payment for the two portraits was withheld until the couple were completely satisfied with the results.

May 2007