Art History – February

We continue our studies by looking at the art of the ‘Romantic’ painters. At our meeting on 5th March we will watch a DVD about the life and work of John Constable, one of the best known of the English Landscape artists.  This will be followed by a discussion and contributions from the group.

John Constable was born in 1776 in East Bergholt in Suffolk, the son of a prosperous miller who owned Flatford Mill and later Dedham Mill. He worked for a while in his father’s business. He eventually persuaded his father to send him to study at the Royal Academy Schools, which he entered in 1799. Constable believed that his paintings should come as directly as possible from nature. He made hundreds of outdoor oil sketches, capturing the changing skies and effects of light. He was happiest painting locations he knew well, particularly in his native Suffolk. He also frequently painted in Salisbury, Brighton and Hampstead, making numerous studies of the clouds over Hampstead Heath. In 1829 he was belatedly elected to full membership of the Royal Academy. Constable received little other recognition in Britain in his lifetime but was much better known in France. In 1824, The Hay Wain won a gold medal at the Salon in Paris and Constable had a profound influence on French Romantic artists. If you would like to find out more, then do join us as we still have space for new members.