John Constable: paintings and biography of the artist

  • Year of birth: June 11, 1776
  • Date of death: March 31, 1837
  • A country: Great Britain


If today the work of Constable is the pride of English painting and occupy an honorable place in the rich masterpieces of European painting of the early 19th century, then during his lifetime the master's work was unpopular in his homeland. He had the glory of a fine artist and colorist only abroad, in France. The biography of the painter is rich in events that are quite suitable for the series.

Miller had three sons ...

Constable's father was the owner of several mills in the north-east of England. The family was well-to-do, but John's older brother had poor health and the father of the future painter looked at his middle son as a successor to the family business. Passion for drawing in the family of Constables was considered a whim and was not even considered a possible profession.
John was sent to a good boarding school, and then to a good private school. Time passed, but the passion for painting did not pass. Up to 23 years, the young artist was forced to hide his passion. But in 1799, John frankly declared to his father that he would not be a miller. Fortunately, by this time the younger brother had grown up, who was no different to any "frills". His father waved his hand at John, gave him a small amount of money and asked him not to count on more.

The beginning of the way

Studying at the Royal Academy is not Constable. He spent hours studying pictures of old masters of continental Europe at the National Gallery and worked a lot on nature. Father's money was enough for a short time, but by this time the young master gets a place as a drawing teacher in one of the military colleges and is not experiencing material problems.
Pedagogy does not attract him at all, moreover, it takes a lot of time. Within two years, Constable leaves college, which causes discontent of his mentors at the academy. One of the professors even calls this step "the end of the artist's career." In fact, this was only the beginning.

On free bread

A year later, after leaving college, Constable for the first time exhibited his work for the general public. The audience looked and left. Many noted "freshness and amazing authenticity," but the artist did not wait for enthusiasm. It was necessary to somehow live and Constable decides to write a few custom portraits. Orders appeared, but the master worked on them without any inspiration.
Friends offered him a trip to the east to create several canvases on a fashionable theme then - wildlife, exotic, bright sunrises and sunsets, etc. The journey gave nothing. More than anything, Constable loved the nature of England, and the public demanded something completely different.

Love and poverty

The sweet and innocent children's affection of John Constable and Maria Beeknell gradually develops into sincere love. Maria’s relatives are against their marriage - John is too poor and has no weight at all in society. Constable’s parents have nothing against marriage, but they don’t want to help. The young had to wait a long 7 years, until John received a fifth of the family business after the death of his father.
The wedding took place in the autumn of 1816. In this marriage, Maria will give John seven children and will forever remain his only muse and ally.

Work work work…

Constable's work - landscapes, genre scenes are still popular only among professionals. Despite the fact that John is regularly exhibited in the most famous galleries in England, for the first time the society paid attention to his work after one of the artist’s works received a gold medal at an exhibition in France and received rave reviews from reputable Theodore Gericault. Thanks to this recall, French impresarios redeem several works of Constable. It seems that ahead of glory, wealth and recognition.
Alas ... Despite the incredible performance and effort, the financial situation of the artist's family remains very modest. The fact is that Constable categorically refuses to work abroad. He owns the phrase: "Better I will be poor in my homeland than rich abroad." The result - a break with all friends on the continent. Several unsuccessful commercial projects ultimately undermine the well-being of the Constable family.

Death of the wife and the final

The artist's beloved wife suffered from a disease that claimed thousands of British residents every year — tuberculosis. The climate, constant worries about the future of children, the failure of her husband - all this contributed to the fact that Mary died early. Constable did not recover from this blow until the end of his life.
A year after his wife’s death, he is admitted to the Academy, he becomes an inspector who is loved and respected by students. The demand for his paintings in France is increasing in France; the best artists of the continent come to learn from him. Lectures on the history of landscape painting are extraordinarily popular, but the loss of the beloved woman, the mother of his children, cannot compensate for anything.
In 1837, John Constable dies of a heart attack. During his life in England, he managed to sell only 12 of his works, in France - 4 times more. Today the work of Constable adorn the most reputable museums in Europe and America. In the world of art, his work is a recognized standard of harmony, emotionality and true natural beauty.

Paintings by John Constable

Salisbury Cathedral
Helmingham Hollow
Uivengo park
Hay cart
Dedham Valley
House, Rainbow, Mill
Brighton Pier

Watch the video: John Constable: A collection of 248 paintings HD (February 2020).