Page last updated at 16:41 GMT, Thursday, 15 January 2009

Constable portrait show to open

Constable portrait
Portraits on display will include one of Constable's wife, Maria Bicknell

An exhibition exploring some of John Constable's seldom seen works is to open at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

The collection of almost 50 portraits will feature oil paintings, sketches and watercolours.

Rediscovered and previously unseen paintings will be among those on show a along with self portraits and pictures of the artist's family and friends.

Constable Portraits: The Painter and His Circle will open on 5 March.

The gallery said it would be the first exhibition dedicated to portraits by Constable and the insights they bring to his art, life and relationships.

Tate curator Anne Lyles said the collection would give people the opportunity to assess the portraits properly for the first time.

"In the past some critics have not rated them," she said.

"Perhaps it's time to look at them more closely to see if they are rather better than we thought.

"Some of them are incredibly good. They are full of honesty, integrity, and rather intense characterisations."



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