If you saw a 19th Century painting of the English countryside, chances are it is a painting by the English Artist John Constable.
John Constable was an important 19th Century British painter best known for his landscaper, particularly his painting of clouds and skies. He is best known for his paintings of the British countryside, particular areas where he or his family had visited or lived. Constable was able to rise to moderate success during this lifetime. Today he is still considered an influential British artist.
Table of Contents
- Who Is The British Artist John Constable?
- John Constable And Paintings Of Nature
- John Constable Cloud Studies
- Many Feel John Constable Was Precursor To Impressionism
- John Constable And His International Success
- John Constable – His Final Years Of Depression
- Related Questions
Who Is The British Artist John Constable?
John Constable was born in 1776 in Southport, England, and died in London in 1837. He was one of the significant figures in English landscape painting during his lifetime.
He is best known for his paintings of the English countryside. In particular, those representing the valley of River Stour, an area that came to be known as constable country.
John Constable was the son of a wealthy miller and merchant who owned a house on a small farm. He was reared in the small South Fork village. His childhood environment and understanding of the real economy would later figure prominently in his art.
Constable was supposed to follow his father and his father’s business but decided instead that he wanted to pursue art. Even though his father disapproved, he could enter the prestigious Royal Academy Schools.
Constable proved to be an extremely dedicated artist. In 1802 he refused the post as a drawing master at the Military Academy and instead dedicated himself to the English countryside’s landscape, painting, and study of nature.
John Constable And Paintings Of Nature
His early works were mainly watercolors and drawings of nature, but later, he experimented with oils. He was known to go out into the countryside to sketch many of the scenes from nature.
That he based himself in London, he frequently returned to the area of his birth, and once on a visit there in 1809, he fell in love with Maria Bushnell, who was visiting her grandfather, the director there. Her family did not like that she was in love with a struggling artist, so their courtship became clandestine.
In 1816, after many years of their secret courtship, his father died, leaving him a substantial inheritance, and he was finally free to marry Maria. Maria and John lived in London, and in 1817, their son John was born.
By 1819 Maria was showing early signs of tuberculosis, and her health was failing. The family rented a house in the north London suburb of Hampstead. Constable began painting the Hampstead Heath area before focusing on painting all kinds of skies.
John Constable Cloud Studies
One of the unique things about Constable’s paintings is his study of the skies. His cloud studies are unique as they capture many qualities of a change in the skies. They are also known to accurately depict her logical phenomena, which he was familiar with as he studied them.
He made many small sketches and some large paintings for his exhibitions. He would base paintings on oil and pencil sketches. He was known to labor intensively over these significant works of art.
Many Feel John Constable Was Precursor To Impressionism
From 1824 constables’ paintings became increasingly fractured and communicated a kind of optical effects. Many of his paintings communicated the physical experience of nature in almost an abstract way.
He was also known to use vibrant and luminous colors; Because of his nature art has led many to believe that the nature of Constable’s art was a kind of precursor to impressionism art.
During this time, he moved away from recording the exact detail in his paintings which had an almost abstract element.
John Constable And His International Success
Throughout the 1820s, art critics praised his work, and he was able to sell paintings. In 1824 he had paintings shown in the Perez Salon that won a gold medal; the king awarded him the gold medal
His notable paintings included Chain Pier, Brighton (1826-27), and Dedham Vale (1828).
In 1829 he was elected to become a Royal Academician, a post that many felt was belated because he was such a famous art personality. Unfortunately, this honor was soured when Maria died in 1828 and left him and his seven children.
John Constable – His Final Years Of Depression
Through Constable’s letters and writings in the 1830s, we can see how he felt depressed and alienated. At the time, acute attacks were being made against him and his contemporaries.
Yet, despite all of these personal struggles during this. He produced some fantastic works of art. He reverted from oil to watercolor and drying. He produced such fascinating works of art at Salisbury Cathedral From The Meadows (1831). His last Royal Academy enters entitled Cenotaph To The Memory of Coleroton Hall, Leicestershire, by the Late Sir George Beaumont (1836).
John Constable is a significant British painter, primarily a landscape painter. He was also unique in that he did not choose to paint popular places but instead painted areas where he and his family had personal connections.
And while other artists during this period also did oil switches, no one did it as extensively as Constable. That is why even today, he is so well known for his paintings of nature, particularly those that feature the story skies and clouds.
We know that he continues to be an essential British landscape artist.
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