Before 1805, Constable had used watercolour only occasionally and then rather timidly. During the years 1805 and 1806, however, he produced a substantial number of more painterly and expressive watercolours. The immediate impetus behind his more enthusiastic adoption of the medium in 1805 may have been the first, highly successful exhibition of the Society of Painters in Watercolour held in London that year. This watercolour was formerly identified as a view near Dedham in Suffolk. However, it is now thought to be a detached, trimmed page from a sketchbook which Constable used on a visit to relations in Epsom in August 1806.
Gallery label, August 2004
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