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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 August 2007, 23:43 GMT 00:43 UK
Missing Constable sketch is found
The 'lost' sketch has been discovered at The British Library

A missing sketch by celebrated artist John Constable has been rediscovered at the British Library in London.

Scholars lost track of the drawing of a church after it was sold by Constable's grandson Eustace at Christie's in 1896.

It was found in an elaborate sketchbook on the life of Constable's rival JMW Turner, which was bequeathed to the British Museum in 1919.

It moved to the British Library in the 1970s. The pencil drawing is titled Hyam Church, Suffolk.

The sketchbook was compiled by Warrington businessman and justice of the peace, John Platt, who died in 1902.

Artistic rivalry

Mr Platt inserted the Constable sketch into a page of his scrapbook where he discussed the rivalry between Turner and Constable.

"People knew this sketch existed but didn't know where it had gone," said the British Library's curator of topography, Felicity Myrone, who found the drawing while carrying out research.

"We don't know yet whether it was a study for a later oil painting but it's quite possible that it was," she added.

Scholars are now trying to find out how Mr Platt came to acquire the sketch.

The Constable work was one of over 1,600 items that Mr Platt inserted into his 13 gilt-edged scrapbooks.

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