© Tate, London 2019 | Licence: CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 (Unported)
© Tate, London 2019 | Licence: CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 (Unported)

Netley Abbey by Moonlight

ca. 1833

John Constable

From the collection


Netley Abbey by Moonlight


ca. 1833


Constable and his wife visited Netley Abbey, Hampshire on their honeymoon in 1816. One of the drawings made on that occasion was the basis for this much later watercolour. In character it resembles the designs Constable painted in 1833 to illustrate an edition of Gray's 'Elegy'. He may even have considered using this Netley composition for that work: the figure at the left contemplating a tombstone (a detail not in the original pencil drawing) is a stock motif in all illustrations of the 'Elegy'. At the same time this melancholy image, based on a honeymoon drawing, would have carried a personal meaning for Constable in his widowhood.
Gallery label, September 2004

Medium: Watercolour and graphite on paper
Credit line: 'Purchased 1969'

For full details please visit the collection website.


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From the Watercolour World


Netley Abbey, Netley, Hampshire, England



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