A SERIES of early sketches by world renowned artist John Constable will go on display after a museum bought them at auction.

The four artworks include a landscape painted when Constable was aged just 17 and is among his earliest surviving works.

There are also two portraits, one of which is a work in pencil of his brother, Abram.

The new artworks were found in an album containing watercolours, drawings, poems and extensive texts, ranging from jokes and ditties to comments on contemporary events. Items date from the 1790s to 1862.

It is believed to have been compiled by the Mason family, who were related to the Constables through a marriage between the two families in 1792.

They lived in Colchester and had strong ties with Golding and Ann Constable’s children, including John and Abram.

The album came up for sale at Sotheby’s Old Master and British Works on Paper sale and sold for £24,000.

Read more >> Constable sketches bought for £3 make £115k at auction

The works were acquired by Ipswich Museums after the organisation generated funding.

They will go on display on Sunday at the Mansion’s Wolsey Art Gallery. The public will be able to view the artworks until April 22, 2022.

A portrait of John Constable completed in 1796.

A portrait of John Constable completed in 1796.

A special exhibition is being held to mark the 200th anniversary of Constable’s The Hay Wain and the death of George Frost, who was an early mentor of Constable.

As well as works by Constable, visitors will also be able to view pieces by other notable Suffolk artists, including Thomas Gainsborough, George Frost, John Dunthorne, Elizabeth Cobbold and Thomas Churchyard.

Carole Jones, Ipswich Council’s museums service portfolio holder, said: “2021 is a significant year for the great painter, John Constable, and this exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to highlight his work and the wider Ipswich art collection – giving the people of our town an opportunity to see works by some of Suffolk’s most famous artists.”

Richard Wilson, chair of the Friends of the Ipswich Museums, added: “We are delighted to be supporting this important exhibition.

“It celebrates how the career of Constable, who changed how we look at landscape, was shaped by other local artists.”