| || |
Self-portrait with a Recent Invention
3 5/8 x 2 5/8 cm
J. Paul Getty Museum
© J. Paul Getty Trust [84.XT.266.13]
Description from The Getty (Accessed: 2 July 2010)
William Constable was both an artist and inventor. Here he showed off his most recent scientific invention: an improved regulating device to increase the efficiency of steam power. Constable placed himself with the invention behind him on his right. Rather than position the invention in center frame, Constable shifted it to the left so as to include himself proudly clasping the device. The composition calls as much attention to his own role as inventor as to the invention itself.
William Constable (1783-1861)
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/DSconstable.htm (Accessed: 2 July 2010)
The Brighton Herald wrote of Constable's "mechanical genius." In the Machinery Section of the Great Exhibition of 1851, Constable showed his model of a 'Compensating Fly Wheel', which he had designed to improve the working of steam engines. The inventor claimed that his patented 'Compensating Fly Wheel' served "not merely to improve, but perfect the action of the Reciprocating Steam Engine"
Philippe Garner "William Constable, Brighton's First Photographer", History of Photography, Vol 15, No 3 . Autumn 1991 pp 236-239