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One of Britain’s greatest landscape painters, John Constable was brought up in Dedham Vale, the valley of the River Stour in Suffolk. The eldest son of a wealthy mill owner, he entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1800 at the age of 24, and thereafter committed himself to painting nature out of doors. His “six-footers,” such as The Hay Wain and The Leaping Horse, were designed to promote landscape as a subject and to stand out in the Academy’s Annual Exhibition. Despite this, he sold few paintings in his lifetime and was elected a Royal Academician late in his career.
With texts by leading authorities on the artist, this handsome book looks at the freedom of Constable’s late works and records his enormous contribution to the English landscape tradition.
John Constable (1776–1837) is one of Britain’s best-known artists, and is often considered one of the greatest landscape painters of all time. He was born near the River Stour in Suffolk, an area the artist depicted so frequently that it is referred to as “Constable country.” Pastoral scenes were unfashionable at the time and Constable struggled to establish himself as a painter. He was finally elected a Royal Academician in 1829, and in 1832, he exhibited The Opening of Waterloo Bridge―an effort 13 years in the making―at the Summer Exhibition.