Photo credit: Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum
Could this be by Vernon Wethered (1865–1952), who exhibited a painting of this title at the New Gallery in 1905 as No. 122?
The collection comments: 'I am afraid I cannot confirm or deny the attribution given by Martin as there is virtually nothing on file about this painting. This work entered our collection in 1973 as a bequest from one Mrs Helen Clara Pye-Smith of Cold Ash, Berkshire. She also gave us 'Driving Sheep, Surrey' by John Linnell and 'Willows at Flatford' by John Munnings in her will.
On the back of the painting there is a printed label with handwritten additions from Leggatt Brothers of 30 St James street, London, which states that this work was purchased in 3.1928 from the H. & M. Fison Collection and reads '"A Summer Evening” Original Sketch by John Constable for the Mezzotint by David Lucas'. There is another printed label attached which reads H. & M. Fison Collection and another with number 3766 (possibly the Fison Collection number?). I have attached photographs.
The painting is referred to in our records by the title 'Summer Evening' and as being 'in the manner of John Constable' or more specifically 'after David Lucas's mezzotint print of a work by John Constable'. I am not familiar enough with either Constable or Lucas to be able to comment on this. A search via Google Images did not lead to any matches.
Do we know who bought the Wethered painting in 1905? If their name was Fison then we might have an answer. Alternatively, perhaps a person more knowledgeable in the works of Constable, Lucas or Wethered would be able to take a view on Martin's suggestion?'
This painting is now listed as after John Constable's 'Summer Evening'.
This amend will appear on the Art UK website in due course. Thank you to all for participating in this discussion. To those viewing this discussion for the first time, please see below for all comments that led to this conclusion.
I cannot answer the specific Wethered questio,, but for reference here are the two relevant Constable images:
the David Lucas mezzotint after Constable, published in 'English Landscape Scenery' (this one from the Tate Collection),
and the Constable original in the Victoria and Albert Museum Collection.
Unless the Wethered was exhibited with a reference to Constable's original it would be difficult to associate the two, since 'A Summer Evening' is a very generic title, and not uncommon. Looking at the Bournemouth picture and comparing it with these two images, I think it is most likely to have been copied from the print and given some 'spin' in the sky.
I would favour that Fison purchased the picture from Leggatt rather than the other way around, since Fison also purchased this Constable from Leggatt in 1928:
I have to agree that it's a copy from the mezzotint, certain areas like the wall haven't come across well in the mezzotint, and have been reduced further in this picture. Pretty good though, bits of it are quite convincing.
Actually, Fison & Leggatt bros seem to have a long relationship, with Fison using them as agents in 1956 and 1958.
Perhaps the picture was in this Eighteenth Century exhibition at Leggatt in 1958:
The following year most of Fison's pictures were auctioned by Christie's:
The Bridgeman database has this painting as attributable to John Constable. IMAGE number RUS68481. At some point, this gallery attributed it to him.
As the connection of this painting with the Lucas mezzotint and the oil by Constable in the V&A entitled 'Summer Evening' is now well established, I think we can confidently confirm the description of the Russell-Cotes painting as 'After John Constable.'
Please see Andrew's final comment, i.e. 'after Constable'.
We have altered the title and attribution of this work accordingly in regard to the above comments. Please feel free to alter the details of this work on the Art UK website.