Constable made this drawing in March, when he was presumably in London. A profile self-portrait such as this requires the use of two mirrors. Although generally recognised today as the finest portrait of Constable, and frequently reproduced in recent literature on him, this drawing was more or less unknown outside the Constable family until it was included in the 1937 Wildenstein Gallery exhibition John Constable, R.A.: His Origins and Influence. It seems to have become widely known only after Jonathan Mayne reproduced it as the frontispiece to his 1951 edition of C.R. Leslie's Memoirs of the Life of John Constable. Earlier editions had used Leslie's own images of Constable.
The Tate Gallery 1984-86: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1988, pp.17-18, reproduced
Leslie Parris and Ian Fleming-Williams, Constable, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1991, p.21, reproduced