David Lucas, Summer Afternoon - After a Shower, a mezzotint after John Constable

England, AD 1831

From Constable's series 'English Landscape Scenery'

This mezzotint was first published in part four of Constable's English Landscape Scenery in 1831. The series contains 22 plates, which were published in five parts over a period of months.

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.

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More information

Bibliography

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)

Dimensions

Museum number

PD 1846-1-30-8

PPA72529

Location

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