John constable

John constable - 1

John constable - 1

  • Date of birth: 11 Jun 1776
  • Date of death: 31 March 1837
  • Country: United Kingdom


If today the works of constable are the pride of English painting and take pride of place in rich in masterpieces of European painting of the early 19th century, when the life work of the master was unpopular at home. Fame fine artist and colourist he was only abroad, in France. Biography of the painter eventful, quite suitable for the series.

It was the Miller’s three sons…

Constable’s father was the owner of several mills in the North-East of England. The family was wealthy, but older brother John was distinguished by poor health and the father of the painter looked at middle son as successor of the family business. The act of drawing in the family Constable was considered a whim and was not even considered as a possible profession.

John was sent to a good boarding school, and then in a good private school. Time passed, and the fascination with painting took place. To 23 years the young artist was forced to hide his passion. But in 1799 John frankly said father Miller, he will not. Fortunately, by this time, grown up younger brother who’s a no “frills” was no different. Father waved his hand at John, and gave him a small sum of money and asked for more to count.

The beginning of the path

Studying at the Royal Academy did not trouble constable. He spent hours studying paintings of the old masters in continental Europe at the National gallery and worked a lot on location. Father’s money did not last long, but by this time the young master gets the position of an art teacher in one of the military colleges and the material is not experiencing problems.

Pedagogy it is not attractive, besides time consuming. Two years later constable leaves the College that displeases his mentors at the Academy. One Professor even calls this “the end of the career of the artist.” In fact, this was only the beginning.


A year later, after dropping out of College, constable first exhibited his works for the General public. The audience watched and left. Many noted the “freshness and amazing accuracy,” but the enthusiasm, the artist never came. I had to live and constable decides to write some custom portraits. Orders appeared, but were working on it master without any inspiration.

Friends encouraged him to travel to the East to create several canvases to the then fashionable theme is wild nature, exotic, colourful sunrises and sunsets, etc. the Journey is nothing. More than anything constable loved nature England, and the public demanded something quite different.

Love and poverty

Sweet and innocent children’s affection of John constable and Maria Bicknell gradually develops into a sincere love. Against their marriage stands the relatives of Mary – John is too poor and did not have any weight in society. The parents of constable nothing against marriage do not have, but do not want to help. Young had to wait 7 long years before John received the fifth part of the family business after his father’s death.

The wedding took place in the autumn of 1816. In this marriage, Mary will give John seven children and will forever remain his only Muse and companion.

Work, work, work…

Work constable – landscapes, genre scenes and still are popular only among professionals. Despite the fact that John regularly exhibited in the most famous galleries of England, for the first time on his work for the society to pay attention after one of the works the artist received the gold medal at the exhibition in France and received rave reviews reputable Theodore Gericault. Due to this opinion, the French impresario purchase several works of constable. Think ahead of fame, wealth and recognition.

Alas… Despite the incredible performance and effort, the financial situation of the family of the artist remains modest. The fact is that constable flatly refuses to work abroad. He belongs to the phrase “I’d rather be poor at home than the rich abroad.” As a result, the rupture of relations with all friends on the continent. Several failed commercial projects undermine the welfare of the family of constable.

His wife’s death and the finale

Beloved wife of the artist was suffering from a disease that has claimed thousands of lives of British people – tuberculosis. The climate, the constant worrying for the future of children, the failures of her husband – all this contributed to the fact that Mary died early. From this blow constable did not recover until the end of life.

A year after his wife’s death he is accepted to the Academy, he became inspector, whom I love and respect the students. In his paintings there is a rising demand in France, the best artists of the continent come to study with him. Lectures on the history of landscape painting is extremely popular, but the loss of a beloved woman, mother of his children, can not compensate for anything.

In 1837 John constable dies of a heart attack. During his life in England, he managed to sell only 12 of his works in France, 4 times more. Today the work of constable adorn the most reputable museums of Europe and America. In the art world of his work – a recognized standard of harmony, emotion and a true natural beauty.