Dedham Vale with Brantham Mill
A view over the Stour Valley to Brantham, showing the weatherboard mill owned by Golding Constable.
This previously unrecorded oil painting came to light only a few years ago and had been considered a fake until 2020 when the piece went on sale at Sworder’s auction house after Constable expert Anne Lyles deemed it genuine.
Records show the provenance by Legatt Brothers, local dealers who had close links with the Constable family and who had sold many paintings and sketches in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Constable's courtship with his childhood friend Maria Bicknell begins in this year and brought him back to East Bergholt more often. However their relationship was opposed by Maria’s grandfather, Dr Rhudde, Rector of East Bergholt which made their courtship a turbulent affair. Whilst Golding and Ann Constable approved of their match, they held out little prospect of supporting the marriage until John became financially secure.
The painting location is approximate but believed to be from the ‘Orvis Lane’ vicinity.