During a visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum we discovered a facsimile of John Constable’s 1814 sketchbook. I was astonished to discover the pocket notebook size he used. Being about 11cm x 8.5cm (or about 4.5 inches x 3.5 inches) it truly was a pocket size. You can see my fingers holding the page spread open. It gives a sense of scale. The windmill in the photograph above is about an inch to an inch and half high. Obviously I did not have a ruler with me so that is an approximate size.
It is amazing how much infomation Constable was able to record on such a small area. It really made me think about the page size of my travel journal. If you want to see any of these images larger than life click on the photos.
The sketchbooks are full of figures and scenery, many of which Constable incorporated in his paintings.We took photos of the sketchbook page spreads, then ran around the gallery trying to see if we could spot items in the paintings.
My camera battery went nearly flat flicking back and forth between photos to compare elements in the paintings, but it certainly was fun to see what he had used and how he had incorporated various elements. I am a big kid at heart!
I was also totally delighted to see he too sometimes drew upside down in his sketchbook. If you want to see what I mean see my video flicking through the page spreads of my last travel journal as I made the same mistake!
You can see every page of John Constable’s sketchbook on the Victoria & Albert Museum website. It is worth a visit to see his drawings.