Skip to main content
Cenotaph to the Memory of Sir Joshua Reynolds
John Constable
/

This painting depicts a memorial to the painter Sir Joshua Reynolds, built by Sir George Beaumont in the grounds of his home at Coleorton Hall, Leicestershire, in 1812. Beaumont planned to redesign his gardens to include other memorials dedicated to his friends and the people he admired. The poet William Wordsworth spent about a month at Coleorton in the summer of 1810 composing inscriptions for the memorials.

When Constable visited Coleorton in 1823, he made a pencil drawing of the monument. Ten years later, he began to turn the pencil drawing into an oil painting, which he was to entitle Cenotaph to the Memory of Sir Joshua Reynolds. He returned to the canvas three years later, and finished it in time for the Royal Academy exhibition of 1836. It was the last painting that Constable exhibited at the Royal Academy and it did not sell.

Key facts
Artist John Constable
Artist dates 1776 - 1837
Full title Cenotaph to the Memory of Sir Joshua Reynolds, erected in the grounds of Coleorton Hall, Leicestershire by the late Sir George Beaumont, Bt.
Date made 1833-6
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 132 x 108.5 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Miss Isabel Constable as the gift of Maria Louisa Isabel and Lionel Bicknell Constable, 1888
Inventory number NG1272
Location in Gallery Room 34
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo