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John Constable

By: Jessica Brewer

Why Did I Make This Booklet?

I made this booklet to explore the life and works of John Constable. I find his work very interesting and realistic. I like the way he portayed the countryside of his hometown. This booklet will give a summary of his life and show some of his major works. 

Introduction to

John Constable

John Constable was born in East Bergholt, a village on the River Stour in Suffolk. His parents name were Golding and Ann Constable. He was their second son, but their first was mentally handcpped, so John was expected to take over his father's businesses. When he was younger, he started sketching the countryside of Suffolk.  In 1799, Constable started to persue his art career.  He was inspired by the works of  Thomas Gainsborough, Claude Lorrain, Peter Paul Rubens, Annibale Carracci and Jacob van Ruisdael. He liked painting landsacpes and was exhibiting paintings at the Royal Academy by 1803. 

The Style of John Constable

John Constable was known for painting natural landscapes, with scenes of agricultural work throughout them. He is known for his romantic style due to idealizing these landscapes. HIs work reminded people of the simple, rural lifestyle that many people grew up in in England during the time he was painting. Most of his work was scenes of the English countryside, using focusing on a cottage/church or a body of water. He also used very broad brushstrokes, known as the Impasto technique, which was later devloped by Impressionists. He also made nature appear more realistic than ever before. He created depth in his paintings and used white highlights to make water seem flowing.

Stonehenge, 1835


Victoria And Albert Museum, London, England

The Hay Wain, 1821

Oil on Canvas

National Gallery, London

Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Ground, 1823

Oil on Canvas

Victoria and Albert Museum

Flatford Mill, 1816

Oil on Canvas

Tate Britain

Stratford Mill, 1820

Oil on Canvas

National Gallery, London

The White Horse, 1819

Oil on Canvas

Frick Collection, New York

One of my favorite paintings by Constable is Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Ground. This painting shows a cathedral in the distance. It includes trees, a pasture, and a cloudy sky. The greens and greys in this painting dominate the entire scene. This painting exemplifies romanticism because it makes nature look heavenly and idealistic. The details of the cathedral and the trees appeal me because they look very realistic and that must have taken a long time to paint. This painting moves me because it makes me almost feel like I am seeing what the painter was seeing at the time. This painting makes me think of the old cathedrals in Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA.

Favorite #1

My other favorite painting by Constable is The Hay Wain. In this painting, the scene depicts a cottage and a wagon with people in a body of water. Similarly, the greens, greys, and browns dominate in this painting. The painting also exemplifies the romantic movement because it also idealizes nature and makes it look perfect. The cottage and the realsitic aspects of the body of water appeal to me because they make this painting unique and interesting to examine. This painting moves me because it shows how simple life can be and how we make it more complicated than it has to be. This painting makes me think of my great-grandfather's farm and house.

Favorite #2