John Constable

Trees at Hampstead

1829

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 924 x 740 mm
frame: 1170 x 990 x 115 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Bequeathed by George Salting 1910
Reference
N02659

Display caption

This painting was made shortly after Constable had settled permanently in Hampstead with his family. The area attracted him as an artist, and he made numerous oil sketches of trees seen against the sky, as well as studies of cloud formations. There are some weak passages of drawing in the trees in this work, and the hesitant, spidery writing of the inscription is not altogether convincing. However, there do not appear to be sufficient grounds for seriously doubting the attribution of the work to Constable.

Gallery label, May 2007

Catalogue entry

N02659 Trees at Hampstead Dated 1828

Oil on canvas, 36 1/8×29 1/8 (92.4×74).
Inscribed (by the artist?) ‘John Constable, f London 1829’ bottom right.
Prov: ...; Executors of Alexander George Pirie, sold Christie's 10 December 1904(70), bt. Permain, from whom bought by Agnew's 17 December 1904 and sold to George Salting 18 January 1905; bequeathed by Salting to the National Gallery 1910; transferred to the Tate Gallery 1919. Accession N02659.
Exh: Agnew's 1910(252); British Art 1830 to 1850, Whitechapel Art Gallery 1920(90); Tate Gallery 1937 (p.20, No.42).
Lit: Holmes 1910, p.85; Shirley 1937, p.248; Chamot 1956, p.261; Beckett 1961, Paintings: Middlesex B(35) No.119; Hoozee 1979, No.659 (as doubtful).

No.34 has hitherto been called ‘Trees near Hampstead Church’ but the title appears to date only from Agnew's 1910 exhibition. It may not be altogether fanciful, however. The three trees at the right bear some resemblance to those at the left of ‘Trees at Hampstead: the path to Church’ in the V.&A. (Fig. 1, R.223, H.310).1

There are some weak passages of drawing in the trees in No.34, and the hesitant, spidery writing of the inscription is not altogether convincing. However, there do not appear to be sufficient grounds for seriously doubting the attribution of the work to Constable.

1. Oil on canvas, 36×28 1/8 (91.4×72.4); possibly exhibited at the R.A. in 1822.


Published in:
Leslie Parris, The Tate Gallery Constable Collection, London 1981

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