Friday, August 24, 2007

John Constable Drawing Found

A small pencil drawing by British artist John Constable has been found in a "grangerized" biography of JMW Turner, the Telegraph reports. "Hyam Church, Suffolk," a sketch of the Church of St. Mary in Higham, was sold at Christie's in 1896, but then faded from view until it was recently discovered by a British Library curator Felicity Myrone.

"Yesterday Mrs Myrone said she found the drawing in one of the 13 volumes bequeathed by John Platt, a retired velvet merchant and Justice of the Peace from Warrington. 'It's a fantastic find - a real treasure trove,' she said. In a practice common amongst Victorians, Mr Platt had 'Grangerised' a two-volume mid-19th century biography of JMW Turner by George Thornbury, effectively turning it into what is now a very expensive scrapbook. Platt collected a total of 1,607 letters, manuscripts, prints and drawings in some way connected to Turner and his contemporaries. Every page of [the biography] was unbound and then rebound with all of Platt's additions."

Platt's books have been at the BL since 1919.

Grangerizing (or 'extra-illustrating,' as it became euphemistically known) was frowned upon by many in its time and is looked upon even less favorably today.