Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Constable John

Constable, John, the son of a yeoman farmer at East Bergholt, Suffolk, was born in 1776. He acquired some knowledge of drawing and painting from Duntheme, an intelligent plumber, but his father kept him at agricultural work until 1795, when Sir George Beaumont sent him to London with an introduction to Farington. His talents were recognised, but he made slow progress. He exhibited in 1802, but it was only in 1811 that his picture of Dedham Vale attracted favourable notice. The knowledge of nature stored up in early life, and the laborious industry with which he essayed to reproduce on canvas the scenery of his native county now began to tell. In 1818 he had four fine works, including the White Horse, in the Royal Academy Exhibition, and was elected an associate. Stratford Mill, The Hay Cart, and Salisbury Cathedral were among his masterpieces at this period, and some of his works exhibited in Paris created a profound sensation, and won him two gold medals. In 1825 he painted The Lock, one of his most characteristic pictures, and The Cornfield, produced in the following year, showed his powers under another aspect. In 1829 he was elected a Royal Academician in spite of much opposition. The Valley Farm, The Rainbow, and Waterloo Bridge are the chief specimens of his later manner. Whilst working with Lucas at his book of English Landscape Scenery, he broke down in health, and during the last four years of his life was a martyr to rheumatism and other ailments. In 1836 he lectured on art at the Royal Institution, but died suddenly in 1837. Truth to nature in tone rather than in detail was the aim of his endeavour, and an age that was dazzled by Turner's brilliant idealism did him but scant justice, especially as he confined himself within a somewhat harrow field. He was more generously appreciated in France; still his great merits never obtained recognition until years after his death. Enormous prices have recently been given for the best examples of his genius.