Hebron, Stephen, Conal Shields and Timothy Wilcox, The Solitude of Mountains. Constable and the Lake District. Grasmere: The Wordsworth Trust, 2006. ISBN 1905256108.
Catalogue of the Constable Collection, Graham Reynolds, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: HMSO, 1973, pp. 56, 60, 61, 64, 65
The following is an extract from the text of the entry:
"A strip at the top indicates fading. The back has a rough grey wash over the greater part of it and is inscribed in pencil by the artist, with deletions as shown
Borrowdale 4 Oct 1806--Dark Autumnal day at noon--tone more blooming that[struck through] [? than(struck through] this...the effect exceeding terrific[struck through] terrific--and much like the beautiful Gaspar I saw in Margaret St. and in another hand J. Constable RA.
Capt. S. H. Badrock has identified the scene as looking towards Gate Crag with Castle Crag to the left. The old Keswick road is seen on the shoulder of the hill on the right. Holmes, p. 240, confuses Nos. 80 [187-1888] and 88 [181-1888], and states that No. 88 is dated 4 October.
Note on Nos. 72-94 [794-1888, 348-1888, 192-1888, 812-1888, 170-1888, 185-1888, 188-1888, 184-1888, 187-1888, 178-1888, 179-1888, 177-1888, 193-1888, 183-1888, 1256-1888, 596-1888, 181-1888, 182-1888, 1257-1888, 811-1888, 349-1888, 186-1888, 194-1888]
Nos. 72-94 [see above] are drawings made by Constable during his only visit to the English Lake District, which occupied him for about two months in the autumn of 1806. An account of this expedition is given by Beryl and Noel Clay in their article 'Constable's visit to the Lakes' (Country Life, Vol. LXXXIII, 1938, pp. 393-5), which quotes relevant extracts from the diary of Mrs. Harden of Brathay Hall, with whom Constable stayed for part of the time; the following resume is based upon that article. Constable undertook the journey on the suggestion of his uncle, David Pike Watts, and at his expense. He travelled with one Gardner (perhaps George, son of the artist Daniel Gardner, a native of Kendal in Westmorland), and they were to stay at the outset of the tour with Worgan, a tenant of a house on Windermere which belonged to Watts. It is not known when Constable arrived in the Lake District, and the earliest date is that on a watercolour drawing in Mr. Gilbert Davis's collection inscribed at the back Sepr. 1st 1806, Kendall castle On 8. September Constable and Worgan were staying at Brathay Hall, the Hardens' house on Windermere. Constable seems to have left Brathay Hall on or soon after 16 September for a tour of Borrowdale, and he returned there on 16 October. The latest recorded date of the visit is that of 19 October on No. 86. [1256-1888]. Mrs Harden comments in her diary on Constable's assiduity in sketching and, besides the twenty-three drawings in the Museum's collections, many others made on this visit are known. Drawings in other ownership which help to fill in the itinerary given by the dated drawings in the Museum's collections are the following:
2 September Whitbarrow Scar. (Holmes, p. 240, when in the possession of H. P. Horne; now in the Ashmolean Museum)
30 September Borrowdale. (Gregory sale, 20 July 1949, Lot 70 verso)
1 October Borrowdale. (In extra illustrated edition of Leslie's Life of Constable, formerly belonging to Lord Lee of Fareham)
12 October Ashcourse [Esk Hause?]. (Holmes, p. 240, formerly in the collection of Sir T. Gibson Carmichael, Bart.)
Mrs Harden's diary also records that Constable painted a portrait of her in oils, apparently beginning it on 14 September (when it rained all day) and finishing it in nine hours. Sketches by John Harden of the house-party, including Constable, and of Constable painting Mrs Harden, are reproduced in Beryl and Noel Clay's article, as is Constable's drawing of the party. Although Constable told Leslie in later life that "the solitude of mountains oppressed his spirits" (L. ed. S., p. 25), he exhibited three Lake District scenes at the Royal Academy in 1807, and another three there in 1808; he also sent some of these on to the British Institution's exhibition in 1808 and another three to their exhibition of 1809. His inscriptions made at the time on the backs of the drawings are often enthusiastic; besides those on the Museum's drawings Nos 74 [192-1888] and 80 [187-1888] may be noted that quoted by Holmes from Sir T. Gibson Carmichael's drawing of 12 October "The finest Scenery that ever was".
Most of the drawings in the Museum were made in the period between the two visits to Brathay Hall. Nos 72-85 [794-1888, 348-1888, 192-1888, 812-1888, 170-1888, 185-1888, 188-1888, 184-1888, 187-1888, 178-1888, 179-1888, 177-1888, 193-1888, 183-1888] are of places in Borrowdale or easily reached from Keswick, and the identifications suggested for the undated drawings Nos 87-91 [596-1888, 181-1888, 182-1888, 1257-1888, 811-1888] would put them within the same locality and section of the visit. Mrs Harden noted in her diary on 30 September "Gardener left his friend Constable in Borrowdale drawing away at no allowance, but he got tired of looking on, so came off here". The drawing of Langdale (No. 86 [1256-1888]) was no doubt, as pointed out by Beryl and Noel Clay in the article cited above, drawn during the artist's second stay at Brathay Hall. Among the oil paintings made by Constable of Lake District scenes may be noted 'Keswick Lake' in the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (L. ed. M., Pl. 5) and 'Keswick Lake' in the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon (L. ed. S., Pl. 32). Holmes, pp. 240-1, lists others."
The Solitude of Mountains (Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum 01/07/2006-31/10/2006)
Constable: a breath of fresh air (The Millennium Galleries, Sheffield 08/02/2003-27/04/2003)
John Constable, selected by Lucian Freud (Grand Palais 10/10/2002-13/01/2003)
Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F
'Constable's only exhibit at the Royal Academy in 1806 was No. 65 [169-1888]. In June he was at East Bergholt, as is attested by Nos. 66 and 67 [224-1888 and 346-1888]. In the autumn he paid a visit of some two months to the Lake District and made many drawings, among them Nos. 72-94 [794-1888, 348-1888, 192-1888, 812-1888, 170-1888, 185-1888, 188-1888, 184-1888, 187-1888, 178-1888, 179-1888, 177-1888, 193-1888, 183-1888, 1256-1888, 596-1888, 181-1888, 182-1888, 1257-1888, 811-1888, 349-1888].'
[G Reynolds, 1973, p. 56]
'Borrowdale 4 Oct 1806 - Dark Autumnal day at noon - tone more blooming that ['that' scored out] this ... the effect exceeding terrific ['terrific' scored out] terrific - and much like the beautiful Gaspar I saw in Margaret St.'
'J. Constable RA.'