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There has never been an age…in which the love of landscape has not in some way been manifested Wivenhoe Park, Essex radiates clarity.
All is placid and in place—contented cows graze or snooze, fishermen drag their nets in the pond, and a kitchen garden and domestic animals occupy the space beyond the trees on the right—features typical of the self-sustaining nature of such a country estate. The pattern of puffy clouds in the sky is the most active aspect of the picture, the weather producing an occasional breeze to set the flock of birds into flight and rustling the leaves of trees dotting the scene.
Later in the century, the impressionist painters were to take up this goal as well. Wivenhoe Park, located about 55 miles northeast of London, was the seat of the Rebow family. General Rebow specified that certain features be included in the painting.
Constable arranged these harmoniously, modifying the actual location of certain elements for example, the house and lake were not actually part of the same view. Typically, the owner of such a house might wish for a more grandiose portrait of it, but Constable preferred the everyday poetry of landscape and sky.
The painting was a important project for Constable on a personal level: He needed the income the commission generated in order to provide for his longtime love, Maria Bicknell, and enable them to marry with the approval of her parents, who opposed the match for a of years. Wivenhoe Park, Essex was finished by Septemberand Bicknell and Constable were at last married on October 2, John Constable did not come from a family of artists; rather, his interest grew gradually under the tutelage of local painters and connoisseurs he befriended.
His father was a flour miller in East Bergholt, Suffolk, a profession he expected his son to assume. John ed the family business after completing school, but inaround age 23, was able to convince his skeptical father to allow him to pursue artistic training. Constable studied the naturalistic landscapes of 17th-century Dutch artists and the classically infused ones by French artist Claude Lorrain. The artist always saw his calling in landscape painting, which derived from his love of nature and the hills of his native Suffolk.
Mellon Collection, His initial efforts were not met with great acclaim, and he struggled for a decade, taking up more lucrative portrait painting commissions to augment the allowance from his family.
John ConstableMaria Constable with two of her Childrenc. NGA Images Download a digital image of this work. Initially the family lived in London and then Hampstead, a small village outside the city. An artistic breakthrough occurred aroundwhen Constable was well into his 40s, with several six-foot wide pictures that he painted with the express purpose of garnering the approval of the academy—accustomed to monumental pictures—without sacrificing his own aims. The works started receiving notice in the press, and he was elected an associate academician around this time, which conferred hanging privileges in exhibitions.
He finally achieved the rank of full academician at the Royal Academy inat age 54, recognized as one of the best landscape painters of his age. But the success was bittersweet for Constable, who had lost his beloved Maria the year and never fully recovered. After losing some of the function of his right hand following an illness inhe began making drawings and watercolors, which were less physically demanding.
He died in at More Works by John Constable in the Collection. Paul Mellon, Explore all Collection Highlights. Wivenhoe Park, Essex. About the Artist.
John ConstableSelf-Portrait ,Love in wivenhoe
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