John Constable

1776-1837 England-Romanticism

 

Brief Biography- John Constable was from East Bergholt in Suffolk. His father was a wealthy corn merchant which led to John having a relatively care free childhood, that is after he was taken out of a strict boarding school and schooled in the local village of Dedham where he was encouraged to draw by the schoolmaster. His father put him into the family business but John never took a shine to it. When he was nineteen he met a painter George Beaumont who owned a Claude Lorrain painting, the painting 'Hagar and the Angel' inspired John to dedicate himself to art. He subsequently went to London and took lessons from the artist Antiquity Smith who mentored him in the world of art. His younger brother Abram took over his role in the family business and his father gave him an allowance to study in the Royal Academy Schools.
He quickly learned that landscape painting was not well regarded by the Academy, portrait and history paintings were the mainstream in art. He spent his summers using a cottage in Bergholt as a studio and travelling the country in his spare time. He went to the Peak district but wasn't happy in the Lake District, the remoteness was too stifling for him. By this time, he was a master of landscapes but he was unable to make a living and he was still not made a member of the Academy.
In 1816 he married Maria Bicknell after seven years of opposition from her father, it became possible at this time due to both his parents having died and receiving an annual allowance from the family business. They settled in a house in Keppel Street Bloomsbury where they had their first son. It was here in 1820 he painted 'The Hay Wain' finishing it in the spring of 1821. They moved to Hampstead that year with their second son where he was inspired by the farming landscapes. A few years later the king of France awarded him a medal for 'The Hay Wain'.
By 1828 they had six children, Marie was in poor health and after the birth of the seventh child she became feverish and died that year. John was badly affected by her death. The next year his spirits were picked up somewhat when his rival J.M. Turner arrived to tell him he had been made a full Academician. His last major painting was 'The Valley Farm'; he died in March of 1837.

 

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Boatbuilding

Boatbuilding

Stour Valley

Stour Valley with Dedham Church

Flatford Mill

Flatford Mill

chain pier brighton

chain pier brighton

stonehenge

stonehenge

The Admiral's House

The Admiral's House

Flatford Mill

Flatford Mill from a Lock on the Stour

Helmingham Dell

Helmingham Dell

The Cornfield

The Cornfield

Lane near Flatford

Lane near Flatford

Malvern Hall

Malvern Hall in Warwickshire

The Lock

The Lock

View of Salisbury

View of Salisbury

Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Grounds

The Hay-Wain

The Hay wain

Willy Lot's House

Willy Lot's House

The Leaping Horse

The Leaping Horse

Weymouth Bay

Weymouth Bay with Jordan Hill

Brighton in July

Brighton in July

salisbury cathedral

salisbury cathedral from the meadows

Boat at the Sluice

A Boat at the Sluice

Dedham Lock

Dedham Lock and Mill

Salisbury Cathredal

Salisbury cathredal

Dedham Vale

Dedham Vale

The Valley Farm

The Valley Farm

Opening of waterloo

the opening of waterloo bridge seen from whitehall stairs

wivenhoe park

wivenhoe park

behind alresford hall

the quarters behind alresford hall