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Constable Portraits: The Painter and His Circle
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Constable Portraits: The Painter and His Circle (Hardback)

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'I've always thought that it was completely loopy for people to go on about portrait painters, English portrait painters, and not to have Constable among them.' Lucian Freud, 2002 Published to coincide with the first ever exhibition dedicated to Constable's portraits, this book will present new scholarship and argue that many of these unexplored paintings are worthy of close attention, both for their contribution to the history of portraiture and for the insights they bring to a painter of international acclaim. Constable's sitters make up a 'Jane Austen' world, belonging to the middle and upper ranks of early-nineteenth century provincial society: clergymen and their wives, landed gentry and families wealthy from trade. A number of previously unknown works are featured in this delightful book, including family members, close friends and children, as well as commissioned portraits. Collectively, they provide a fascinating insight into the period.

This book and exhibition seek to vindicate the view of Lucian Freud that Constable belongs an important tradition of British portraiture, to bring Constable's portraits back to the fore, and give them the critical acclaim that they deserve. Published to accompany the exhibition Constable Portraits: The Painter and His Circle at the National Portrait Gallery, London, 5 March - 14 June 2009, and at Compton Verney, Warwickshire, 27 June - 6 September 2009. Authors Martin Gayford is an art critic and writer. Recent publications include Lucian Freud and The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles. Anne Lyles is the Constable scholar and curator at Tate Britain. Recent publications include Constable: The Great Landscapes and Romantic Landscape: The Norwich School of Painters, 1803-1833.

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