This new monograph explores the career of John Constable (1776-1837), one of the most important nineteenth-century British artists and the quintessential English landscapist. The painter who pioneered outdoor painting and elevated landscape subjects to masterpieces such as The Hay Wain, Flatford Mill and Dedham Lock – seeing his art as a natural philosophy and each work as a searching experiment – is presented afresh in this approachable yet inquiring new appraisal.
In his thorough survey, Jonathan Clarkson offers the reader comprehensive assessment of Constable's oeuvre: from his earliest line drawings to the last masterpieces, including pencil drawings, quick outdoor oil sketches, painstakingly worked studio canvases, and less well-known portraits. Combining biographical detail with a rich historical and cultural context, Clarkson discusses Constable's theories and technique in depth, revealing the revolutionary influence Constable had on painting, from his own time to the present day.
"John Constable presents one of the great paradoxes of art history... To understand this paradox, and the full extraordinary complexity and originality of this, [...] you have only to turn to a new, luminously intelligent, totally authoritative, yet highly readable introduction to Constable by Jonathan Clarkson."—RA Royal Society of Arts magazine
"Clarkson believes that Constable's enduring popularity has led to people becoming immune to his work … So while this volume contains perfectly reproduced masterpieces like The Hay Wain, it also includes plenty of lesser known sketches, studies and portraits to redress the balance... This dedication makes for a rich and cohesive read."—Artists & Illustrators