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Synopsis: This lavishly illustrated monograph of the great British landscapist John Constable (1776-1837) presents a definitive survey of the painter's life and works. Jonathan Clarkson offers a comprehensive assessment of Constable's oeuvre, from his earliest line drawings to his last masterpieces, including pencil drawings, quick outdoor oil sketches, painstakingly worked studio canvases, and less well-known portraits.

Born the son of a miller, merchant, and gentleman farmer in the small village of East Bergholt, Suffolk, it was not immediately obvious that John Constable would pursue a career in the art world. However, the young Constable became a keen amateur landscape painted, inspired by the rural surroundings of his beloved Bergholdt home. With the encouragement of local wealthy connoisseur Sir George Beaumont, whose collection introduced the artist to such masters of landscape as Claude Lorrain, and an allowance from his father, Constable was admitted to the Royal Academy Schools, London, in 1799. There he studied the work of such masters as Lorrain, Gainsborough, and Ruisdael and developed his own style of meticulous observation of natural detail combined with contemporary artistic theory. Upon leaving the Academy, Constable rejected a financially rewarding position as a drawing master in favor of sketching and painting in the English countryside for nearly ten years. He spent his time in pursuit of an honest yet coherent and dignified 'natural' style, and pioneered the revolutionary practice of making finished paintings outdoors, direct from nature. Commercial success came with Constable's decision to exhibit large works at the British Institution. These 'six-footers,' which secured his position among the greatest British painters of his age, included such enduringly famous canvases as The Hay Wain.

In this new monograph Clarkson looks at these grand paintings with a fresh view, investigating what we can actually see in them. Set against the rapidly changing way of life in nineteenth-century Britain, Constable's paintings are both portraits of a disappearing world and reflections of his belief that 'painting is a science, and should be pursued as an inquiry into the laws of nature.' Since his death, Constable has been condemned for presenting a willfully inauthentic vision of the early nineteenth-century English countryside, which was ravaged by unemployment, crime, and intense poverty in the years following the Napoleonic wars. However, his importance for Realism and for painting as a practice in itself cannot be underestimated. Clarkson draws attention to Constable's direct influence on landscape painters as well as figurative artists from his own time to the present, citing examples such as Lucien Freud and Frank Auerbach.

About the Author: Jonathan Clarkson lectures on the history and theory of art at the School of Art and Design, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff. He has written widely on Constable and was co-editor of Constable and Wivenhoe Park: Reality and Vision (2000). He has also published essays on contemporary painting, photography and sculpture, and was co-editor of Sense of Place (2006), which documented exhibitions of site-specific art throughout Europe.

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Book Description Phaidon Press Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAW9780714842950

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Book Description Phaidon Press Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAW9780714842950

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