David Lucas (1802–1881)
“A Summerland” (aka “A Summerland, Rainy Day; Ploughmen–Noon”), 1829, after John Constable (1776–1837) pre-publication proof from the series of 22 mezzotints published in “Various Subjects of English Landscape, Characteristic of English Scenery, from Pictures Painted by John Constable, R.A.” (aka “English Landscape”), part IV, November 1831.
Mezzotint, drypoint and dot roulette on wove paper trimmed close to the image borderline and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (support sheet) 32.4 x 40.7 cm; (sheet) 17.4 x 23.6 cm; (image borderline) 15.2 x 22.7 cm.
Lettered in plate below the image borderline: (left) “Painted by John Constable.R.A.”; (centre) “A SUMMERLAND./ London Pubd. By Mr. Constable,35. Charlott St. Fitzroy Square, 1831.”; (right) “Engraved by David Lucas.”
Shirley 10, progress proof, fourth state between Shirley g and h Wedmore 15 (see https://sublimesites.co/2018/10/17/john-constable-david-lucas-and-a-summerland-part-2-the-progress-proofs-a-c/).
The V&A offer a marvellous account of this print and its background: https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O1356336/a-summerland-print-constable-john-ra/; see also the various impressions of this print held by the museum: https://collections.vam.ac.uk/search/?q=Summerland&year_made_from=&year_made_to=.
The National Gallery of Australia (NGA) offers the following insights about this print: “Lucas began the plate for 'A summerland' before 26 December 1829 when Constable requested four proofs of it (Beckett IV, p. 323). He based it on the first version of 'A ploughing scene in Suffolk' (A summerland) 1814. He made at least eight progress proof variations before the published state …” (https://nga.gov.au/exhibition/constable/Detail.cfm?IRN=145026)
The Boston Museum of Fine Arts in their “Bulletin” from August 1918 (vol. XVI, no. 96) offers the interesting insight: “The ideal aim of ‘English Landscape’ is, in Constable's own words: ‘to display the phenomena of the Chiaroscuro of Nature ... to point out its vast influence upon landscape, and to show its use and power as a medium of expression’... also ‘to promote the love and consequent study of the Scenery of our Country ...’" (https://archive.org/details/jstor-4169661/page/n1/mode/2up).
In the same article from the Boston Museum’s “Bulletin”, this print is discussed and attention is given to the earlier impressions such as this rare “'Pre-Bohn” impression (based on the address line): “[A Summerland] … with its massive, horizontal sweep, its dark woods with crisp minute lights in the foliage, its airy, luminous cloud bank; in all of which that peculiar skill with minute details characteristic of Lucas’ mezzotints, appears at its best at first, when the rocking was quite fresh and sharp, yielding the velvety blacks and the evanescent, pale grays essential to the effect desired.” (op cit.)
Condition: a strong proof impression trimmed close to the image borderline and laid onto a sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. The sheet is in an excellent condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions or significant stains.
I am selling this exceptionally rare proof-state impression from the series of mezzotints described by the V&A as “one of the most important series of mezzotints ever to be published” (see V&A inv. no. E.823-2016), for the total cost of AU$334 (currently US$236.29/EUR209.07/GBP177.82 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world, but not (of course) any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries.
If you are interested in purchasing this very fine luminous impression of a major mezzotint by Lucas, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
This print has been sold