Catalogue entry

N02660 Trunk and Lower Branches of a Tree  

Oil on canvas, 25×29 7/8 (63.5×75.9).
Prov: ...; bought from Leggatt's by Agnew's 1898 and sold that year to George Salting; sold back to Agnew's by him 1900 but repurchased the same year; bequeathed by Salting to the National Gallery 1910; at the Tate Gallery 1919–56; transferred to the Tate Gallery 1962. Accession N02660.
Exh: Agnew's 1910(253); Tate Gallery 1937(p.16, No.25); Chicago, New York and Toronto 1946–7(38); Moscow and Leningrad 1960(60).
Lit: Holmes 1902, p.249, 1910, p.80; Shirley 1937, pp.lxxiii, 272; Chamot 1956, p.263; Davies 1959, p.25; Beckett 1961, Paintings: Suffolk A (7) No.14; Hoozee 1979, No.697 (rejected work).

No.48 used to be regarded as a late work by Constable, painted around 1830. However, the general idea of the picture - an enclosed subject seen from close to - is quite untypical, especially treated on this largish scale. The palette knife is also used with an uncharacteristically heavy hand and the colour, mainly whites and browns, is far drabber than in anything by Constable. The painting was formerly called ‘Dell in Helmingham Park’ but appears to have no connection with the place.

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