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Rare Constable drawing back on display

Published Monday, 21 January 2013

A rare pencil drawing by world famous artist John Constable is being unveiled by Enfield Council next week.


The fascinating artwork, which is 217 years old and depicts a rural scene drawn in the style of a theatrical arch was previously stored at Forty Hall, after being purchased in the 80s.  Enfield Council has decided to put the artwork on display to mark the launch of its free 'Enfield Life' Exhibition at the Dugdale Centre.

The piece is an early and unusual example of Constable's work and was thought to have been completed when the artist was visiting his uncle in Edmonton .  It is signed by Constable and dated 1796, a date when we know that the artist was in the area.

In 1973, prior to its purchase by Enfield , it was exhibited at the Tate Gallery in an exhibition entitled ‘Landscape in Britain 1750-1850’.

Cllr Bambos Charalambous, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure, Youth and Localism said: "It's incredibly exciting that we are exhibiting this artwork by John Constable, and we want to share it with as many people as possible so it will be going on display in our ‘Enfield Life’ exhibition.

“John Constable is one of England ’s most famous landscape artists. His Uncle, Thomas Allen, lived in the Church Street area of Edmonton . Evidence that Constable stayed with the family in Edmonton in the summer of 1796 comes from a letter sent by him to his father from Allen’s home, dated 11 August 1796.

"I'd urge residents to come along and see our ‘Enfield Life’ Exhibition, it’s the first permanent, local history exhibition in Enfield , and reflects the borough's rich history and tells the story of the people who have lived and worked in Enfield and helped shape the borough."

The ‘Enfield Life’ Exhibition covers the three previous boroughs of Edmonton , Enfield and Southgate that now make up the current London Borough of Enfield, and uses a mixture of artefacts, images and room sets to tell the story of the area.  These stories have been told both chronologically, from the prehistory of the area to the present day, and through themes such as aristocratic life, suburbanisation, agriculture and industry.  It is complemented by an art gallery called 'People and Places' where a large selection of works of art are on display - paintings, drawings, photographs and prints that feature places in the borough and people who are linked to the locality.

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