John Constable (1776 – 1837), Dedham Vale with the River Stour in flood. Courtesy of Sotheby's.
Dedham Vale with the River Stour in Flood, painted between 1814 and 1817, is one of few of the artist's works still in private hands. It will be offered with an estimate of £2–3 million in Sotheby's Old Master's Evening Sale on December 6th.
The painting was thought to be the work of Constable’s contemporary Ramsay Richard Reinagle (1775-1862) until recently. Julian Gascoigne, senior specialist at Sotheby’s, said “recent scientific analysis and up-to-date connoisseurship has unanimously returned the work to its rightful place among the canon of the great master’s work”. The work is now thought to have been commissioned by Thomas Fitzhugh for his bride-to-be, Philadelphia Godfrey.
The work is one of many of Constable's works of this manner and size of the area of Suffolk known as 'Constable Country'.