John Constable

John Constable, one of the greatest landscape painters, was born in Sufford, on June 11, 1776. He was the son of a wealthy miller. He began to take interest in landscape painting while he was at grammar school. His father did not favour art as a profession. As a boy Constable worked almost secretly, painting in the cottage of an amateur painter. His keen artistic interest was such that his father allowed him to go to London in 1795, where he began to study painting. In 1799 Constable entered the Royal Academy School in London. He was the first landscape painter who considered that every painter should make his sketches direct from nature, that is, working in the open air. Constable’s art developed slowly. He tried to earn his living by portraits. His heart was never in this and he achieved no popularity. Constable was a realist. He put into his landscape cattle, horses, the people working there. He put the smiling meadows, the sparkle of the sun on rain, or the stormy and uncertain clouds. The most notable works of Constable are “Flatford Mill”, “The White Horse”, “The Hay Wain”, “Waterloo Bridge”, “From Whitehall stairs” and others. In England Constable never received the recognition that he felt he was due. The French were the first to acclaim Constable publicly. His influence upon foreign painting schools has been powerful. Constable may truly be considered the father of modern landscape painting.