John Constable, David Lucas

Castle Acre Priory

published 1855

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In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
John Constable 1776–1837
David Lucas 1802–1881
Mezzotint on paper
Image: 145 × 227 mm
Purchased 1985

Catalogue entry

This catalogue entry discusses a group of works; details of the individual work are given at the end of the introductory text.

John Constable 1776-1837 and David Lucas 1802-1881

T04064 - T04103 'English Landscape Scenery' pub.1855

Bound volume containing text and forty mezzotints, various sizes, on wove paper, page size 426 x 290 (16 3/4 x 11 7/16)
Purchased (Grant-in-Aid) 1985
Prov: ...; given by Mrs Peter Hammond to her husband Peter Hammond 27 July 1911 (inscription on endpaper); ...; Osbert H. Barnard, sold Sotheby's 7 March 1985 (237, together with T03983-04063) £5017 bt Christopher Mendez for Tate Gallery
Lit: as for T03983-04063 above

See the introductory text to T03983-04063 for general comments on this edition, published by H.G. Bohn in 1855 under the title English Landscape Scenery: A Series of Forty Mezzotinto Engravings on Steel, by David Lucas. From Pictures Painted by John Constable, R.A.

The titles used here are those that appear on the prints themselves, except for subjects first published in the 1830-2 English Landscape series, for which the original titles, as given on T03983-04063, have been retained. The ruled borders or framing lines (as Shirley calls them) used on the later Lucas subjects included in this edition have been ignored for the purpose of measuring the images.

T04094 Castle Acre Priory

Mezzotint 145 x 227 (5 11/16 x 8 15/16); plate-mark 174 x 253 (6 7/8 x 10)
Engraved inscriptions: '31' above image t.r., 'Painted by John Constable, R.A.' below image b.l., 'Engraved by David Lucas.' below image b.r., 'CASTLE ACRE PRIORY.' below image at centre; title in fine open letters
Lit: Shirley 1930, no.22, state III; Hill 1985, no.20A

For the early history of Lucas's work on this plate, which began life as the first 'Glebe Farm', see T04055. Soon after getting Lucas to begin the second and slightly larger 'Glebe Farm' Constable was asking, in January 1832, for further proofs of the original plate: 'wet will do, as they are for straining for experiments' (Beckett IV 1966, pp.364-5). On 2 October 1832 he told Lucas that he had 'added a "Ruin" to the little Glebe Farm-for, not to have a symbol in the book of myself, and of the "Work" which I have projected, would be missing the opportunity' (ibid., p.382). A touched progress proof in the Fitzwilliam Museum (Shirley 1930, p.181, proof 'c') shows that Constable contemplated turning the church tower into a windmill before settling for the ecclesiastical ruins. The latter were then extended by enlarging the worked area on the right-hand side, so that the final image was nearly 38 mm (1 1/2 in) wider than the original Glebe Farm subject.

The title given the print when first lettered for publication by Moon in 1838, 'Castle Acre Priory', does not appear in Constable's references to the subject and is presumed to have been a later invention. The print was issued by Lucas in his New Series in 1846.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1984-86: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions Including Supplement to Catalogue of Acquisitions 1982-84, Tate Gallery, London 1988, pp.50 and 58

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