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East Bergholt Church, the south archway of the ruined tower

This watercolour of the south archway of the ruined tower was painted during Constable’s visit to East Bergholt in June 1806 prior to his 2 month trip to Windemere and is the only watercolour from this visit with a precise date.


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This watercolour was made during Constable’s visit to East Bergholt in June 1806 prior to his 2 month trip to Windemere, and is the only watercolour from this visit with a precise date.

Ruins became a recurrent theme in Romantic art and literature and this is the only sketch of East Bergholt Church where the church fills the whole sheet, blocking out the sky.

In Constable's later life, ruins and castles had a more personal meaning after the death of his wife Maria in 1828, where he used a painting of Hadleigh Castle to express his loss.

Donated to the V&A by Isabel Constable, daughter of the artist 1888*

*Isabel Constable was the last surviving daughter of the painter and gave the contents of her father's studio to the Victoria & Albert Museum, making them the principal collector of Constable's work which included 395 oil paintings, sketches, drawings, watercolours and sketchbooks.

 

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