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John Constable, Weymouth Bay: Bowleaze Cove and Jordon Hill

Key facts
Full title Weymouth Bay: Bowleaze Cove and Jordon Hill
Artist John Constable
Artist dates 1776 - 1837
Date made 1816-17
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 53 × 75 cm
Acquisition credit Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number NG2652
Location Room 45
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Weymouth Bay: Bowleaze Cove and Jordon Hill
John Constable

This view is of Bowleaze Cove in Dorset looking west from Osmington. The Jordon stream trickles over the sand, with Furzy Cliff and Jordon Hill beyond. Thick clouds scud across the bright winter sky as the Downs slope to the sandy cove and sea. Constable suggests the waves rolling in to the beach with thick streaks of grey and white paint, which mirror the colour of the clouds.

Constable stayed at the vicarage in Osmington, a small village near Weymouth, during his honeymoon in 1816. The National Gallery’s painting is one of three oil versions of this view by Constable. The first may be the small oil sketch with a stormy sky (Victoria and Albert Museum, London) which was almost certainly painted outdoors from nature. The final, larger and more highly finished painting (Louvre, Paris) is developed from both the others and was exhibited at the British Institution in 1819.

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