Green & Cream Transferware Plate Scenes After Constable English The Cornfield / The Drinking Boy Pastoral Scene Flock of Sheep


Brand Grindley

For consideration is this hard to find plate by Grindley of England. Taken from John Constables 1826 painting "The Cornfield" from the Scenes After Constable series. Constable referred to the painting as "The Drinking Boy" and it is thought to show a lane leading from East Bergholt towards Dedham, Essex. It was exhibited for the first time, the same year it was finished, in 1826 at the Royal Academy and today hangs in the National Gallery in London.

Measures 6.25"

Condition: No chips, cracks and only some crazing commensurate with age. Glaze has darkened to a creamy color giving a nice patina. One plate has a small nick off the back, not visible from the front

John Constable's father was a wealthy Suffolk miller. Constable's truthfulness to nature and devotion to his native scene have passed into legend. Less widely known, however, is his biographer's report that it was seeing Claude's Hagar and the Angel (now in the National Galleery, London) and watercolours by Girtin which first provided him with 'pictures that he could rely on as guides to the study of nature'. Ruisdael, Rubens, Wilson and Annibale Carracci were among other 'reliable guides' whose work he copied as a young man. He also learned from contemporary painters, never forgetting the advice given him by Benjamin West, the President of the Royal Academy: 'Always remember, sir, that light and shadow never stand your skies... always aim at brightness...even in the darkest effects...your darks should look like the darks of silver, not of lead or of slate.'

Constable's youthful exclamation, 'There is room enough for a natural painture [i.e. style of painting]', must be understood not as the outpouring of a 'natural painter' but as the proclamation of an aspiring student struggling for proficiency in the language of art, which shaped his deepest feelings before he could give expression to them.

To learn about Constable and see other transferware pieces from this pattern go to this blog post:

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Featured on Etsy November 2012: