In 1814 the artist's friends are sorry. He works in the studio from oil sketches executed outdoors and the result does not have the finish of a masterpiece. Let him take the example of Claude Lorrain ! Constable then tries a new process by which he begins the outdoor work on the final format.
This intermediate phase lasted until his move to London in 1816 and excited his ambition. From 1819 to 1825 he painted his six-footers in his studio by relying upon his previous works, his memory and his sensitivity.
A scenery of the flooded valley has just been re-attributed to Constable because the high quality of its realization matches his 1814-1816 technique. This oil on canvas 51 x 91 cm is atypical in Constable's art by this illustration of a flood and by its foreground with cattle in Dutch taste.
The attribution to R.R. Reinagle had seemed plausible. This artist was known as a copyist of the Dutch masters and had worked in the Stour valley during the flood of 1799. Nevertheless this was not enough to reject an attribution to Constable.
Until his success with the six footers Constable had essentially a local clientele. The assumption that a patron asked for a specific composition may be accepted. This artwork seems to be the wedding gift commissioned in 1814 to Constable for the daughter of the owner of the meadows in the foreground by her wealthy husband.
This painting is estimated £ 2M for sale by Sotheby's in London on December 6, lot 40. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
SOLD for £ 1.8M including premium