Mrs. James Pulham Sr. (Frances Amys, ca. 1766–1856)

Artist: John Constable (British, East Bergholt 1776–1837 Hampstead)

Date: 1818

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 29 3/4 x 24 3/4 in. (75.6 x 62.9 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of George A. Hearn, 1906

Accession Number: 06.1272


The sitter, an amateur portrait painter, was the wife of James Pulham, an attorney in Woodbridge, Suffolk. In a letter to Constable of April 30, 1818, Mr. Pulham referred to this painting as "the Compliment which you have so handsomely bestowed on her." Portraiture was a minor but remunerative part of Constable’s practice. This is one of his liveliest works, with varied brushwork and glinting highlights played off against the sitter’s matronly calm.