Isabel Constable

John Constable (RA), Coast Scene at Brighton: Evening, oil on paper, 1828, given by Isabel Constable

John Constable (RA), Coast Scene at Brighton: Evening, oil on paper, 1828, given by Isabel Constable

Isabel Constable was the daughter of the famous artist John Constable. In 1888 she left to the Museum the contents of her father’s studio, establishing the V&A as the leading centre for the study of Constable’s work.

Isabel Constable was born in Hampstead, London, on 23 August 1822, the second daughter of the painter John Constable and his wife Maria Bicknell. She never married and inherited most of her father’s studio contents.

In 1888 she gave or bequeathed to the South Kensington Museum in her own name and on behalf of her sister Maria Louise and brother Lionel Bicknell 95 Constable oil paintings and sketches, 297 drawings and watercolours and three sketchbooks. The same year, Isabel Constable also made smaller gifts of her father’s work to the British Museum, the Royal Academy and the National Gallery. She died in 1888.


Information in the V&A Archive

MA/1/C2420 – Nominal file: Isabel Constable

MA/30/140-43 & 146: Central Inventory registers

ED 84/40: Precis of the Board Minutes of the Department of Science and Art, 1888-1892

Selected printed works

List of the bequests and donations to the South Kensington Museum, now called The Victoria and Albert Museum: completed, to 31st December 1900. London: HMSO, 1901. NAL pressmark: VA.1901.0001

Reynolds, Graham. Catalogue of the Constable Collection. London: HMSO, 1973. NAL pressmark: NC.92.1285

To locate material in the National Art Library, please search the Library Catalogue.

The Wolsey Angels Appeal

We urgently need your help to raise the £5,000,000 it will cost for the V&A to acquire four Renaissance angels cast for the tomb of Cardinal Wolsey and later in the possession of Henry VIII.

Help us buy The Wolsey Angels

Shop online

Constable In Love (Paperback)

Constable In Love (Paperback)

Constable in Love: Love, Landscape, Money and the Making of a Great Painter. Art critic Martin Gayford, author of "The Yellow House&quot…

Buy now

Event - The Hidden Constable

Wed 19 November 2014 15:00

V&A Paintings Conservators, Clare Richardson and Nicola Costaras, will describe the discovery and their technical investigation of Constable's sketches.

Book online