John Constable

Mrs James Andrew


Not on display

John Constable 1776–1837
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 775 × 649 mm
frame: 955 × 825 × 115 mm
Purchased 1950

Display caption

Constable painted portraits from the early years of his career, but in 1818 he took on a particularly large number of commissions. The sitter for this work, Mrs James Andrew (née Jane Falding), is said to have come from a Yorkshire family. Constable pays attention to her extravagant outfit and elaborate headdress which reflects the social standing of the sitter. A letter to Constable from his brother, Abram, suggests that payment for the two portraits was withheld until the couple were completely satisfied with the results.

Gallery label, May 2007

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Catalogue entry

N05966 Mrs James Andrew 1818

Oil on canvas, 30 1/2×25 3/8 (77.5×64.5).

Inscribed on a label on the stretcher: ‘Jane Fallding Andrew by. John Constable R.A. Novr. 1818.’
Prov: as for No.15. Accession N05966.
Lit: Shirley 1937, p.100; Chamot 1956, p.261; Beckett 1961, Paintings: Misc. VII(3) No.2; Hoozee 1979, No.249.

This is the companion portrait to No.15. Jane Andrew, née Falding or Fallding, is said to have come from a Yorkshire family1 but so far nothing else has been discovered about her.

Constable devoted a good deal of time to portraiture in 1818. Among his other sitters that year were Dr Walker (Private Collection, TG 1976 No.157, H.245), Mrs Pulham (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, TG 1976 No.158, H.250), Dr Wingfield (two portraits, H.243–4) and perhaps Mrs Tuder (H.246) and Mrs Edwards (H.247). 1819 saw some improvement in the Constables’ finances, Maria benefiting under the will of her repentant grandfather, Dr Rhudde, and Constable receiving part of the proceeds of the sale of East Bergholt House. Although he accepted portrait commissions in later years, Constable never needed to take on so many as he had in 1818.

1. According to the letter cited in note 2 to No.15 above.

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

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