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Regency Portraits Catalogue

John Constable (1776-1837), Landscape painter

1796
Tempera drawing by Daniel Gardner, in V&A Museum, dated 1796; lithograph by Maguire in C. R. Leslie, Memoirs of … John Constable, 1845 ed., p 4.

1797
Oil on wood by Henry Howard in Constable family collection, inscribed on back: Howard pinxt - John Constable Aged 19, and lent to the Tate Exhibition 1976 (1) reproduced p 31.

1799-1800
Oil by Reinagle and self-portrait (NPG 1786 and 901).

1806
Pencil self-portrait in family collection, lent to Tate Exhibition 1976 (58) reproduced p 59; this is inscribed: April March 1806 and has always been with the Constable family; Parris & Fleming- Williams describe it as the only incontestable self-portrait.

Drawing by John Harden in British Museum (Clay collection) shows Constable in the Lake District, brush in hand using a chair as an easel (see Daphne Foskett, John Harden of Brathay Hall, 1974, p 30 and plate vii); two other Harden drawings in the British Museum show Constable with friends at Brathay Hall drawing and listening to music, one dated September 1806.

c.1810
Wilkie's 'The Sick Lady' - Constable appears as the physician.

c.1830
Oil by Leslie in Burlington House, undated but Constable aged about 55; mezzotint by David Lucas used as frontispiece to Leslie's Memoirs of … John Constable, 1843 edition and in Farington Diary, 1926 edition, VI, p 78. A pencil profile by Leslie is fixed opposite the title-page in an extra-illustrated copy of C. R. Leslie, Memoirs of … John Constable, 1843 in the British Museum, lithographed by R. J. Lane and used as frontispiece in the 1845 edition; a pencil and grey wash copy on blue paper was at Christie's 14 November 1967 (21). Leslie is said to have painted Constable as the Duke in 'Perdita Distributing Flowers' exhibited RA 1837 and now in V&A Museum (W. C. Horsley, Recollections, 1903, p 54).

1831
Miniature wax bust by R. C. Lucas, signed and dated 1831, was in Lord Lee of Fareham's collection in 1944.

Drawing by Daniel Maclise (NPG 1458).

1834
Wilkie painted Constable as the physician Garcia Fernandez in 'Columbus in the Convent of La Rabida', a large oil exhibited RA 1835 and later in Minneapolis Art Museum (disposed of). Leslie also says Wilkie asked Constable to sit for his portrait 'and it is much to be regretted that he declined' (C. R. Leslie, Memoirs of … John Constable, 1843, Mayne ed. 1951, pp 238-9).

c.1836
Miniature by W. Booth exhibited RA 1836 (710).

1837
Death-mask (NPG 4063).

Posthumous
1874
Marble bust by E. Davis commissioned by the RA and exhibited there in 1874.

1909
Stone statue by Vincent Hill on the Cromwell Road front of the V&A Museum.

1937
Circular memorial profile by Alfred Turner was placed in the crypt of St Paul's Cathedral by the RA.

Doubtful and spurious portraits
Oil self-portrait offered to the NPG in 1941, half-length profile to left c.1825; another version exhibited 'British Self Portraits', Arts Council, 1962 (67).

Pencil self-portrait, whole-length seated in profile to right, Sotheby's (Heseltine sale) 29 May 1935 (388).

Oil attributed to Hoppner offered to the NPG in 1898.

Chalk drawing attributed to Samuel Lawrence offered to the NPG by Quaritch in 1975.

Miniature by Jean-Henri Cless in Louisiana, reproduced in Connoisseur, CLXV, July 1967, p 207, looks totally unconvincing.



This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Walker, Regency Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 1985, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.