John Constable
The Church Porch, East Bergholt exhibited 1810

Artwork details

John Constable 1776–1837
The Church Porch, East Bergholt
Date Exhibited 1810
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 445 x 359 mm
frame: 640 x 555 x 70 mm
Acquisition Presented by Miss Isabel Constable 1888

Display caption

This view of the church in Constable’s native village of East Bergholt was one of the first works he exhibited. The stillness of a summer’s afternoon is broken only by the voice of an old man, talking to a woman and a girl sitting on one of the tombs.

The inclusion of people from three generations acts as a reminder of the passage of time and of human mortality, whilst the church offers hope of salvation. Pensive figures in churchyards would have reminded contemporaries of Thomas Gray's famous poem, Elegy written in a Country Churchyard 1751.

February 2004

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