INTERPRETING ARTIST'S INTENT IN THE TREATMENT OF JOHN CONSTABLE'S THE WHITE HORSE SKETCH
Throughout the treatment of this painting, concerns associated with Constable's intentions unavoidably surfaced. Exploration of these issues before treatment helped provide the reason for undertaking the task. Throughout the overpaint removal, confusion was alleviated by thinking about Constable's probable purpose and by gaining familiarity with his sketchy style through studying his other paintings. After the treatment was completed, contemplating the details that were uncovered and their implications gave yet another perspective on Constable's intentions. Now that Constable's first completed large sketch is revealed, other insights into his motivations in its production are undoubtedly forthcoming.
I would like to thank the National Gallery of Art for supporting this project. Particular thanks go to the curators, Nicolai Cikovsky Jr. and Franklin Kelly and the conservation administrators, Ross Merrill, David bull, and Sarah Fisher, for their day-to-day input. The insights of Charles Rhyne, who had studied this painting in depth, were especially vital early in the project. The scientific analysis provided by Barbara Berrie was especially invaluable. Finally, thank you to Carol Christiansen and Mary Sebera for their editorial assistance.