John Constable R.A.
- John Constable
A study of a sleeping child
Although the identity of this sleeping child is not known, it is possible that it depicts one of Constable's own children. After a long courtship Constable finally married Maria Bicknell (1788-1828) in October 1816. Together they had seven children: John Charles (b. 1817), Maria Louisa (b. 1819), Charles Golding (b. 1821), Isabel (b. 1823), Emily (b. 1825), Alfred (b. 1826) and Lionel (b. 1828).
These children appear regularly in Constable's drawings, pen and ink studies and oil paintings during the 1820s and 1830s. The artist's first biographer, Charles Robert Leslie (1794–1859), noted that Constable's 'fondness for children exceeded, indeed, that of any man [he] ever knew'.
1. C.R. Leslie, Memoirs of the Life of John Constable, 1845, p. 77