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Waterloo Bridge Seen from Whitehall Stairs

John Constable

English, 1776–1837

Waterloo Bridge Seen from Whitehall Stairs

c. 1829

Constable made several studies for a seven-foot canvas commemorating the opening of Waterloo Bridge in London. The distant vantage point in this sketch allowed the artist to include ceremonial river barges and spectators crowding the balconies of the building on the left. The new bridge, named after the battle in which British and allied forces defeated Napoleon, is barely visible on the right; enveloped in light, it blends into the Thames and the buildings behind it.

Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 24 x 39 in. (61 x 99 cm)
Object Number 2007.8.49
Acquisition Gift of the Manton Art Foundation in memory of Sir Edwin and Lady Manton, 2007
Status On View

Image Caption

John Constable, Waterloo Bridge Seen from Whitehall Stairs, c. 1829, Oil on canvas. Gift of the Manton Art Foundation in memory of Sir Edwin and Lady Manton, 2007. The Clark Art Institute, 2007.8.49.

Bibliography

Lees, Sarah, ed. Nineteenth-Century European Paintings at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute; New Haven and London: distributed by Yale University Press, 2012. Clarke, Jay, ed. Landscape, Innovation, and Nostalgia: The Manton Collection of British Art. Williamstown, MA: The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 2012.

Provenance

[Leggatt’s, London, sold to Hardy, c. 1940]; Lee Hardy; John Hardy, his son, by descent (until 1988, sold to Leger)¹; [Leger Galleries, sold to Manton, 2 Mar. 1989]; Sir Edwin A. G. Manton, New York (1989–d. 2005); Manton Family Art Foundation (2005–7, given to the Clark, as Sketch for “The Opening of Waterloo Bridge seen from Whitehall Stairs, June 18th, 1817”); Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 2007.

1. The painting was offered for sale at Sotheby’s, London, 29 Nov. 1978, no. 101, but was bought in.

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