- Extended Catalogue Entry
by John Constable
pencil and black chalk heightened with white and red chalk, circa 1799-1804
9 3/4 in. x 7 5/8 in. (248 mm x 194 mm)
Sitterback to top
- John Constable (1776-1837), Landscape painter. Sitter in 6 portraits, Artist associated with 6 portraits.
Artistback to top
- John Constable (1776-1837), Landscape painter. Artist associated with 6 portraits, Sitter in 6 portraits.
This portraitback to top
This early self-portrait was drawn with the aid of a mirror, as indicated by the reversed buttoning of his coat. It was probably produced at about the time that Constable entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1799. It is an intimate and unaffected study.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Bakewell, Michael, Character Sketches: Fitzrovia: London's Bohemia, 1999, p. 6
- Cooper, John, Great Britons: The Great Debate, 2002, p. 14
- Ribeiro, Aileen, The Gallery of Fashion, 2000, p. 153
- Ribeiro, Aileen; Blackman, Cally, A Portrait of Fashion: Six Centuries of Dress at the National Portrait Gallery, 2015, p. 153
- Rideal, Liz, Insights: Self-portraits, 2005, p. 95 Read entry
This self-portrait reflects a modest yet perfect gentleman. It gives little idea either of Constable’s technical genius, nor of his remarkable observations of changing cloud formations and commitment to the plein air study of ‘... old rotten planks, slimy posts and brickwork, I love such things ... Painting is but another word for feeling’.
- Rogers, Malcolm, Master Drawings from the National Portrait Gallery, 1993 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 5 August to 23 October 1994), p. 81
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 141
- Walker, Richard, Regency Portraits, 1985, p. 127
Events of 1799back to top
Current affairsThe Prince of Wales is reconciled with his secret wife Maria Fitzherbert.
Corresponding Societies Act is passed prohibiting certain named political groups including the radical London Corresponding Society and the United Irishmen.
Art and scienceThe Swiss artist Henry Fuseli, resident in England since 1778, is appointed Professor of Painting at the Royal Academy.
The conservative educator Hannah More publishes her Strictures on Female Education which criticised demands for women's rights while proposing an active role for them within religious and moral movements.
InternationalSuccessful defence of Acre in the Levant is led by William Sidney Smith.
British expedition to Holland, led by General Ralph Abercromby, ends in evacuation after allies defeated at Battle of Bergen-op-Zoom.
Fall of the ruling Directory in France. Napoleon seizes power.
The Rosetta Stone is discovered in Egypt.
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