Room 88: Gainsborough's Showbox & Constable's Oil Sketches


Gainsborough's Showbox & Constable's Oil Sketches, room 88

The Edwin and Susan Davies Galleries

This room features the oil sketches of John Constable as well as Thomas Gainsborough's unique 'showbox'. Thirty of Constable's oil sketches given to the V&A by Isabel Constable are exhibited here. In the early 1800s, many painters such as Constable, sought to capture subtle effects of light and atmosphere by making small-scale oil sketches out of doors. In the 1780s Thomas Gainsborough painted a series of landscapes in oils on glass, which were viewed in a specially constructed 'showbox' which was described in this way: 'The machine consists of a number of glass planes, which are moveable…chiefly landscapes. They are lighted…at the back, and are viewed through a magnifying lens, by which means the effect produced is truly captivating.'

Room 88 is on Level 3 of the V&A South Kensington.

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Paintings you can find in this gallery:

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John Constable: Oil Sketches from the V&A

John Constable: Oil Sketches from the V&A

This exciting book presents a unique insight into Constable's working process through the V&A's unparalleled collection. It places the artist in t…

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Event - Norfolk House Music Room Concert

Sat 10 May 2014 11:00

Join musicians from the Royal College of Music as they perform in the V&A’s beautiful Norfolk House Music Room.

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