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The Hay Wain, Oil On Canvas by John Constable (1776-1837, United Kingdom)

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The Hay Wain, Oil On Canvas by John Constable (1776-1837, United Kingdom)
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"The Hay Wain"

John Constable - Oil On Canvas - 130 x 185 cm - 1821 - (National Gallery (London, United Kingdom))

The Hay Wain is an oil on canvas painting by John Constable. It was finished in 1821 and shows a hay wain near Flatford Mill on the River Stour in Suffolk, though because the Stour forms the border of two counties, it depicts Willy Lott's Cottage in Suffolk on the left bank and the Essex landscape on the right bank.The Hay Wain is revered today as one of the greatest British paintings. The painting was voted the second best painting in any British gallery in a 2005 poll organised by the Today programme in September 2005. Now in the collection of the National Gallery, London.

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 John Constable
Of the myriad of landscape painters that worked throughout the 19th century, John Constable was one of the best. Today landscape painting is considered a beautiful genre that is noteworthy in its own ways. It is perfectly acceptable for a young artist to admit in an art class that they want to be a landscape painter. However, attitudes in the 18th century were very different. It was not commonly acceptable to just produce landscape paintings. They didn’t do anything, not like how a religious painting praises god or the saints and not like how portraits commemorate individuals and promote their social status. Landscapes, while sometimes pretty to do look at, didn’t serve a cause other than to please the eye.
[Page - John Constable - 4Ko]

John Constable (11 June 1776 – 31 March 1837) was an English Romantic painter. Born in Suffolk, he is known principally for his landscape paintings of Dedham Vale, the area surrounding his home—now known as "Constable Country"—which he invested with an intensity of affection. "I should paint my own places best", he wrote to his friend John Fisher in 1821, "painting is but another word for feeling".

His most famous paintings include Dedham Vale of 1802 and The Hay Wain of 1821. Although his paintings are now among the most popular and valuable in British art, he was never financially successful and did not become a member of the establishment until he was elected to the Royal Academy at the age of 52. He sold more paintings in France than in his native England.


Early career

John Constable was born in East Bergholt, a village on the River Stour in Suffolk, to Golding and Ann Constable. His father was a wealthy corn merchant, owner of Flatford Mill in East Bergholt and, later, Dedham Mill. Golding Constable also owned his own small ship, The Telegraph, which he moored at Mistley on the Stour estuary and used to transport corn to London. Although Constable was his parents' second son, his older brother was mentally handicapped and so John was expected to succeed his father in the business, and after a brief period at a boarding school in Lavenham, he was enrolled in a day school in Dedham. Constable worked in the corn business after leaving school, but his younger brother Abram eventually took over the running of the mills.

In his youth, Constable embarked on amateur sketching trips in the surrounding Suffolk countryside that was to become the subject of a large proportion of his art. These scenes, in his own words, "made me a painter, and I am grateful"; "the sound of water escaping from mill dams etc., willows, old rotten planks, slimy posts, and brickwork, I love such things." He was introduced to George Beaumont, a collector, who showed him his prized Hagar and the Angel by Claude Lorrain, which inspired Constable. Later, while visiting relatives in Middlesex, he was introduced to the professional artist John Thomas Smith, who advised him on painting but also urged him to remain in his father's business rather than take up art professionally.

Dedham Vale (1802)In 1799, Constable persuaded his father to let him pursue art, and Golding even granted him a small allowance. Entering the Royal Academy Schools as a probationer, he attended life classes and anatomical dissections as well as studying and copying Old Masters. Among works that particularly inspired him during this period were paintings by Thomas Gainsborough, Claude Lorrain, Peter Paul Rubens, Annibale Carracci and Jacob van Ruisdael. He also read widely among poetry and sermons, and later proved a notably articulate artist. By 1803, he was exhibiting paintings at the Royal Academy.

In 1802 he refused the position of drawing master at Great Marlow Military College, a move which Benjamin West (then master of the RA) counselled would mean the end of his career. In that year, Constable wrote a letter to John Dunthorne in which he spelled out his determination to become a professional landscape painter:

“ For the last two years I have been running after pictures, and seeking the truth at second hand. I have not endeavoured to represent nature with the same elevation of mind with which I set out, but have rather tried to make my performances look like the work of other men…There is room enough for a natural painter. The great vice of the present day is bravura, an attempt to do something beyond the truth.”

His early style has many of the qualities associated with his mature work, including a freshness of light, colour and touch, and reveals the compositional influence of the Old Masters he had studied, notably of Claude Lorrain. Constable's usual subjects, scenes of ordinary daily life, were unfashionable in an age that looked for more romantic visions of wild landscapes and ruins. He did, however, make occasional trips further afield. For example, in 1803 he spent almost a month aboard the East Indiaman ship Coutts as it visited south-east coastal ports, and in 1806 he undertook a two-month tour of the Lake District. But he told his friend and biographer Charles Leslie that the solitude of the mountains oppressed his spirits; Leslie went on to write:

Wivenhoe Park (1816)“ His nature was peculiarly social and could not feel satisfied with scenery, however grand in itself, that did not abound in human associations. He required villages, churches, farmhouses and cottages.”

In order to make ends meet, Constable took up portraiture, which he found dull work—though he executed many fine portraits. He also painted occasional religious pictures, but according to John Walker, "Constable's incapacity as a religious painter cannot be overstated."

Constable adopted a routine of spending the winter in London and painting at East Bergholt in the summer. And in 1811 he first visited John Fisher and his family in Salisbury, a city whose cathedral and surrounding landscape were to inspire some of his greatest paintings.

Marriage and maturity
Maria Bicknell, painted by Constable in 1816From 1809 onwards, his childhood friendship with Maria Bicknell developed into a deep, mutual love. But their engagement in 1816 was opposed by Maria's grandfather, Dr. Rhudde, rector of East Bergholt, who considered the Constables his social inferiors and threatened Maria with disinheritance.

Maria's father, Charles Bicknell, a solicitor, was reluctant to see Maria throw away this inheritance, and Maria herself pointed out that a penniless marriage would detract from any chances John had of making a career in painting.

Golding and Ann Constable, while approving the match, held out no prospect of supporting the marriage until Constable was financially secure; but they died in quick succession, and Constable inherited a fifth share in the family business.

Weymouth Bay (c. 1816)John and Maria's marriage in October 1816 at St Martin-in-the-Fields (with Fisher officiating) was followed by time at Fisher's vicarage and a honeymoon tour of the south coast, where the sea at Weymouth and Brighton stimulated Constable to develop new techniques of brilliant colour and vivacious brushwork. At the same time, a greater emotional range began to register in his art.

Although he had scraped an income from painting, it was not until 1819 that Constable sold his first important canvas, The White Horse, which led to a series of "six footers", as he called his large-scale paintings.

He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy that year, and in 1821 he showed The Hay Wain (a view from Flatford Mill) at the Academy's exhibition. Théodore Géricault saw it on a visit to London and was soon praising Constable in Paris, where a dealer, John Arrowsmith, bought four paintings, including The Hay Wain, which was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1824, winning a gold medal.

Of Constable's colour, Delacroix wrote in his journal: "What he says here about the green of his meadows can be applied to every tone". Delacroix repainted the background of his 1824 Massacre de Scio after seeing the Constables at Arrowsmith's Gallery, which he said had done him a great deal of good.

In his lifetime Constable was to sell only twenty paintings in England, but in France he sold more than twenty in just a few years. Despite this, he refused all invitations to travel internationally to promote his work, writing to Francis Darby: "I would rather be a poor man than a rich man abroad."

In 1825, perhaps due partly to the worry of his wife's ill-health, the uncongeniality of living in Brighton ("Piccadilly by the Seaside"), and the pressure of numerous outstanding commissions, he quarrelled with Arrowsmith and lost his French outlet.

After the birth of her seventh child in January 1828, Maria fell ill and died of tuberculosis that November at the age of forty-one. Intensely saddened, Constable wrote to his brother Golding, "hourly do I feel the loss of my departed Angel—God only knows how my children will be brought up…the face of the World is totally changed to me".

Thereafter, he always dressed in black and was, according to Leslie, "a prey to melancholy and anxious thoughts". He cared for his seven children alone for the rest of his life.

The Hay Wain (1821)Shortly before her death, Maria's father had died, leaving her £20,000. Constable speculated disastrously with this money, paying for the engraving of several mezzotints of some of his landscapes in preparation for a publication. He was hesitant and indecisive, nearly fell out with his engraver, and when the folios were published, could not interest enough subscribers. Constable collaborated closely with the talented mezzotinter David Lucas on some 40 prints after his landscapes, one of which went through 13 proof stages, corrected by Constable in pencil and paint. Constable said, "Lucas showed me to the public without my faults", but the venture was not a financial success.

He was elected to the Royal Academy in February 1829, at the age of 52, and in 1831 was appointed Visitor at the Royal Academy, where he seems to have been popular with the students.

The Constable tombHe also began to deliver public lectures on the history of landscape painting, which were attended by distinguished audiences. In a series of such lectures at the Royal Institution, Constable proposed a threefold thesis: firstly, landscape painting is scientific as well as poetic; secondly, the imagination cannot alone produce art to bear comparison with reality; and thirdly, no great painter was ever self-taught.

He also later spoke against the new Gothic Revival movement, which he considered mere "imitation".

In 1835, his last lecture to the students of the RA, in which he praised Raphael and called the R.A. the "cradle of British art", was "cheered most heartily". He died on the night of the 31st March, apparently from indigestion, and was buried with Maria in the graveyard of St John-at-Hampstead, Hampstead. (His children John Charles Constable and Charles Golding Constable are also buried in this family tomb.)

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John Constable (11 juin 1776 à East Bergholt, Suffolk - 31 mars 1837 à Londres), est un peintre paysagiste britannique du XIXe siècle. Biographie La région de Dedham Vale dans le Suffolk est encore connue comme le «Pays de Constable». Flatford Mill, le sujet de l'une de ses œuvres la plus connue était à son père, un brasseur aux affaires florissant...
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John Constable (* 11. Juni 1776 in East Bergholt, Suffolk † 31. März 1837 in London-Hampstead) war ein Vertreter der romantischen Malerei (Landschaftsmalerei) in England. Sein Werk lebt aus der Spannung zwischen genauer Naturbeobachtung (z. B. Himmels- und Wolkenstudien) und der Vernachlässigung der Linie zugunsten der Farbwirkung. Er malte unter ...
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John Constable (East Bergholt, 11 giugno 1776 – Londra, 31 marzo 1837) è stato un pittore inglese, legato al Romanticismo. Nacque nel Suffolk, conosciuto principalmente per i suoi paesaggi di Dedham Vale, area posta nei dintorni del suo luogo natio — attualmente conosciuta come "Constable Country" — pervasi di un'intensa passione. "Dipingerei megli...
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John Constable (East Bergholt, Suffolk, 11 de junio de 1776 — 31 de marzo de 1837) fue un pintor inglés de paisajes. Murió, pues, poco antes de cumplir los sesenta y un años. La región de Suffolk fue el tema preferido de sus paisajes, hasta el punto de que el área del Valle de Dedham, en dicha región, se conoce como «el país de Constable». Su obra ...
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Джон Консте́бл или Констэбль (англ. John Constable 11 июня 1776, Ист-Бергхолт, Саффолк — 31 марта 1837, Лондон) — английский художник-романтик. Наибольшую известность ему принесли пейзажи, в частности с видами окрестностей Саффолка, откуда художник был родом. Его картины прославили Дедхэм Вэйл, который называют Земля Констэбля (англ. Constable Cou...
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约翰·康斯特勃(John Constable,1776年6月11日-1837年3月31日),英国风景画家。 康斯特勃出生于泰晤士河河口北面的萨福克郡,父亲是一位磨房主。他的一生非常平淡,他一直在家乡作画,从小酷爱绘画,16岁时因为学校教师太残酷而转学,这位新校长很欣赏他的才华,有时在法语课上发现他在画画,就会停在他身边,然后说:“继续吧,我并没有睡觉,我看你现在是在自己的画室里呢!”,但并不惩罚他。 康斯特勃的父亲并不同意他做一个专业的画家,希望他能做一位牧师,但并不反对他画画,由于他不愿意做牧师,就只好让他在磨房中工作,同时他经常画画,画周围熟悉的风景、风车、磨房,1795年获得父亲的同意,由一位来访赞赏他才能的画家将他领到伦敦,进入皇家美术学院学习,他想摹仿大师们的风格,但没有成功,发现...
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John Constable (11 de junho de 1776, Suffolk - 31 de março de 1837, Londres). Estudou na Dedham Grammar School e ao deixar a escola, trabalhou um período com seu pai, apesar de seu coração não estar ali. Em 1799 convenceu então seu pai a mandá-lo para a Royal Academy em Londres para estudar arte. Em 1816, Constable conquistou sua segurança financei...
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ジョン・コンスタブル(John Constable、1776年6月11日 - 1837年3月31日)は19世紀のイギリスの画家である。「カンスタブル」と表記することもある。 同時代のウィリアム・ターナーとともに、19世紀イギリスを代表する風景画家である。 西洋絵画の歴史においては神話、聖書のエピソード、歴史上の大事件や偉人などをテーマとした「歴史画」が常に上位におかれ「風景」は歴史画や物語の背景としての意味しか持っていなかった。17世紀オランダでは風景画が発達したが、ヨーロッパ全土で風景画が市民権を得るにはフランスのバルビゾン派、イギリスのターナーやジョンが登場する19世紀を待たねばならなかった。 ジョンは1776年、ロンドンの北東にあるサフォーク州イースト・バーゴルトに裕福な製粉業者の子と...
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The Hay Wain, Oil On Canvas by John Constable (1776-1837, United Kingdom)
The Hay Wain is an oil on canvas painting by John Constable. It was finished in 1821 and shows a hay wain near Flatford Mill on the River Stour in Suffolk, though because the Stour forms the border of two counties, it depicts Willy Lott's Cottage in Suffolk on the left bank and the Essex landscape on the right bank.The Hay Wain is revered today as one of the greatest British paintings. The painting was voted the second best painting in any British gallery in a 2005 poll organised by the Today programme in September 2005. Now in the collection of the National Gallery, London.
John Constable
Oil On Canvas
Oil On Canvas
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