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    John Constable, R.A. (1776 – 1837) Dedham Vale with the River Stour In flood from the grounds of Old Hall, East Bergholt. Courtesy of Sotheby’s

    A rediscovered Constable landscape comes up at Sotheby’s Old Masters evening sale in London on December 6.  One of the most important additions to Constable’s oeuvre to have emerged in the last 50 years Dedham Vale with the River Stour in Flood is one of the last early views of “Constable Country” in private hands.  John Constable (1776-1837) is one of Britain’s best-loved and most significant landscape painters and this work is estimated at £2-3 million.

    Julian Gascoigne, Senior Specialist, British Paintings at Sotheby’s said: “Constable’s views of Dedham Vale and the Stour valley have become icons of British art and define for many everything that is quintessential about the English countryside.  Dedham Vale with the River Stour in Floodwas long mistakenly thought to be by Ramsay Richard Reinagle (1775-1862), a friend and contemporary of Constable’s, but recent scientific analysis and up-to-date connoisseurship has unanimously returned the work to its rightful place among the canon of the great master’s work and established beyond doubt its true authorship. It is without question one of the most exciting and important additions to Constable’s oeuvre to have emerged in the last fifty years”.

    The painting is thought to have been commissioned by Thomas Fitzhugh as a wedding present for his future wife, Philadelphia Godfrey, whose parents were neighbours and friends of Constable’s family. It is the view from the back garden of Philadelphia’s childhood home, and must have served as a perfect memento once settled into married life in London.

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