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John Constable. Molto prima di Monet

John Constable. Long before Monet

We are in the early 1800s. In England, two great painters, with very different personalities, carry on the same discourse: painting nature: William Turner and John Constable.

Turner, for example, traveled extensively while John Constable never moved from England.


June 11, 1776 and 1816

Constable was born on 11 June 1776 and in 1816 he painted this wonderful oil on canvas: Wivenhoe Park.

Let's discover 3 important curiosities about this picture.


1 - Constable wants to be a "natural painter"

Long before the Impressionists (Monet will be born 24 years later) he created this painting almost entirely outdoors, anticipating the famous "plein air" by Monet and his companions by decades.

2 - Balance and composition to sew

In the center of the composition is a red brick manor. John realizes he can't even understand the thatched deer barn.

Then, with a very skilful work, John adds almost 3 centimeters of canvas on the right side (for the viewer). To restore balance and symmetry to the picture, John sews an identical strip on the left side as well and, as an element, he paints the owners' daughter, Mary Rebow driving a cart pulled by a donkey.

3 - And now I can get married

Thanks to this painting commissioned by the owner of the major park General Francis Slater-Rebow, a close friend of John's father and first among his patrons and supporters, Constable earned enough money to finally be able to marry his longtime love: Mary Bicknell

Constable said: "We don't really see anything until we understand it",

Knowing, understanding and surrounding yourself with images that are the result of study, technique and wisdom is essential to live better and surround yourself with beauty.

A. G. Fadini







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