Landscape with a stream at Wenham

Landscape with a stream at Wenham

This drawing of a landscape near Wenham, Suffolk, is one of the earliest dated drawings by Constable of which the whereabouts are now known. In 1796, the year Constable created the sketchbook from which this drawing comes, he had not yet committed himself to an artistic career; it was assumed that he would enter his father's business. The same year, he met the writer J. T. 'Antiquity' Smith, who was collecting material for a book on rural scenery. Constable offered him several light, schematic sketches of local cottages for possible inclusion in the book. Although Smith responded positively, he ultimately chose not to include any of Constable's cottage sketches in the published book.