John Constable, David Lucas

Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows

published 1855

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
John Constable 1776–1837
David Lucas 1802–1881
Mezzotint on paper
Image: 139 × 215 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.

T04078 Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows

Mezzotint 139 x 215 (5 1/2 x 8 7/16); plate-mark 176 x 253 (6 15/16 x 9 15/16)
Engraved inscriptions: '15' above image t.r., 'Painted by John Constable, R.A.' below image b.l., 'Engraved by David Lucas.' below image b.r., 'SALISBURY CATHEDRAL. | FROM THE MEADOWS.' below image at centre; first line of title in fine open letters, second in fine italic
Lit: Shirley 1930, no.30, state II; Hill 1985, no.35

This plate was based on an oil sketch made in 1829 or 1830 in connection with Constable's work on the large 'Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows' which he exhibited in 1831. The sketch only re-emerged in 1982 and is now in a private collection (Reynolds 1984, no.31.4, pl.795; Hill 1985, pl.35 in col.). The first proofs date from July 1831 (Beckett IV 1966, p.349). Subsequent work on the plate left Constable dissatisfied. By the end of February 1832 he felt it was 'utterly hopeless' (ibid., p.367) and decided to drop it from English Landscape. In October and November 1832 he was again touching proofs in anticipation of his 'Appendix' and was then much happier with the print (ibid., pp.382, 386). The 'little Salisbury', as it is called to distinguish it from the large mezzotint Lucas made from Constable's 1831 exhibition picture, was eventually got ready for publication in Moon's 1838 collection. It did not appear in the New Series in 1846. In fact, Lucas was under the mistaken impression that the original plate had by then been destroyed (ibid., p.440).

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 54

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