JOHN CONSTABLE (1776-1837), BRITISH
HARBOUR SCENE (SAILING BOAT, ROWBOAT AND FRIGATE BY WHARF), PROBABLY 1803
Pencil on paper with watermark of a script “D” with writing verso
Image/sheet 3.2 x 4.9 in — 8.1 x 12.4 cm 3.5 x 4.7 in — 9 x 12 cm
Stanhope Shelton Limited, Suffolk, UK
From whom purchased by the Private Collection, Hamilton, Ontario in 1978
From a sketchbook drawn on Constable’s voyage from London to Deal, probably of the Medway, in 1803.
In the 1997 catalogue of the Tate Gallery’s “British Watercolours from the Oppé Collection” by Anne Lyles and Robert Hamlin, there are two similar drawings. The catalogue states: “These drawings were made in the Spring of 1803, when Constable spent nearly a month on board the ‘Courro’, an East Indiaman captured by his father’s friend Robert Torin.” The ship was sailing to China and Constable joined it between London and Deal. He is said, by his first biographer C.R. Leslie (1794-1850), to have made as many as 130 drawings on the voyage but fewer than fifty are known today (Reynoldi 1996 03-5-51), seven of which were in the Oppé Collection.