The pencil drawing featuring the bare bottom of a naked woman was placed in an album of other work by the English artist, and had a dinner invitation pasted over it.
The owner, thought to have been a British aristocrat, decided to hide it as she didn’t want to offend people when showing off the album.
this is the kind of art find collectors dream about, a seemingly ordinary purchase with a delightful surprise like an artistic box of crackerjacks. Constable is well known for his landscapes mostly, beautiful classic realist works like the Hay Wain. This nude, however is so elegantly simple, the curves suggested in elegant sweeping lines. I’m thrilled to see it uncovered and going to a new owner who will treasure it.
I wonder, sometimes, if the pendulum is swinging back this way, if we are re-establishing victorian prudishness and attitudes. at times when I fear that I like to remember the proliferation of underground nude art, ribald cartoons and interesting pornographic and sexual paraphernalia. the surface of the victorian era was pristine but it had a delightfully seedy underbelly. true that the stuff that was considered shocking then is nothing compared with what we see today, but I think that there is a parallel between what people will admit to and what people actually do. we have the same two faced dichotomy today as we did back then.
would you like to come up and see my etchings?