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David Lucas, Summer Afternoon - After a Shower, a mezzotint after John Constable
England, AD 1831
From Constable's series 'English Landscape Scenery'
Constable had embarked on the project in 1829, with David Lucas (1802-81) executing the mezzotints under his supervision. He originally conceived it as a general survey of his work, following the example of Turner's landscape series Liber Studiorum, published between 1807 and 1819. Like Turner, Constable arranged the issues into landscape types; in his case these were 'pastoral', 'fancy', 'lyrical' and 'grand'. This print was annotated 'L' for lyrical.
Lucas made the mezzotints from selected works painted over a thirty-year period. This print is after Constable's oil sketch Summer Afternoon - After a Shower (1824?, Tate Gallery, London), which his friend C.R. Leslie described as 'the recollection of an effect he had noticed near Red Hill'.
As the project progressed Constable often remonstrated with Lucas for his poor work and unreliability. He corrected the proofs over and again, and goaded Lucas into producing his best work.
In 1833 Constable issued a revised second edition.
A. Griffiths, Prints and printmaking: an int, 2nd edition (London, The British Museum Press, 1996)
A. Wilton, Constables English landscape s (London, The British Museum Press, 1979)