Plate 26 from English Landscape Scenery
After John Constable
Published in 1855 by Henry George Bohn
In 1829, John Constable engaged the young David Lucas, recently graduated apprentice of the famed mezzotinter, Samuel William Reynolds, to engrave a number of his landscapes. The project, in the end incorporating reproductions of just twenty-two paintings, unfolded in five parts that were published under the title Various Subjects of Landscape, Characteristic of English Scenery, from Pictures Painted by John Constable between June 1830 and July 1832. A Summerland, based on Constable’s 1814 oil on canvas titled Landscape: Ploughing Scene in Suffolk, was issued in November 1931 as a component of Part Four.
After Constable’s death, Lucas reworked a number of the plates, including A Summertime, for subsequent editions. Unfortunately, because he had worked not on copper but steel, no doubt in an effort to secure a longer printing life for the series, the plates corroded after years of improper storage. The museum’s example on view here likely comes from the 1855 edition, published by George Henry Bohn under the title that Constable’s project had become more generally known: English Landscape Scenery. The sheet reflects the reworking and wear evident in Bohn’s edition, but lacks, probably due to abrasion, the plate number that should appear to the right, just above the image.