An Ipswich worthy portrayed by John Constable

Thanks to the generosity of two Australian descendants of Sarah Lyons of Ipswich, we are able to reproduce a painting effectively lost to sight for nearly two centuries. The top-right-hand corner of the canvas bears the following inscription:

This has been translated as ‘Isaac son of Abraham Titterman/ from the Ipswich synagogue./ “And Isaac was seventy years old” in the month of Nisan/ in the year 5563 [1803]./ Done by the hand of John Constable/ of East Bergsholt, Suffolk.” The redundant, or at least unsounded ‘s’ in the last word of the place- name may be the simplest problem presented by this work of art. Experts have questioned Constable’s self-attribution of the portrait, instancing a close similarity to others of this period painted by George Frost: no exhibition of early Constable portraits has yet been held.2 Almost equally puzzling is the identity of the sitter, whose surname occurs nowhere in

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