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Constable, Johnlocked

(b East Bergholt, Suffolk, June 11, 1776; d Hampstead, March 31, 1837).
  • Michael Rosenthal

Extract

English painter and draughtsman. His range and aspirations were less extensive than those of his contemporary J. M. W. Turner, but these two artists have traditionally been linked as the giants of early 19th-century British landscape painting and isolated from the many other artists practising landscape at a time when it was unprecedentedly popular. Constable has often been defined as the great ‘naturalist’ and deliberately presented himself thus in his correspondence, although his stylistic variety indicates an instability in his perception of what constituted ‘nature’. He has also been characterized as having painted only the places he knew intimately, which other artists tended to pass by. While the exclusivity of Constable’s approach is indisputable, his concern with local scenery was not unique, being shared by the contemporary Norwich artists. By beginning to sketch in oil from nature seriously in ...

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