From Socialist Worker weekly in Britain:
John Constable: The Great Landscapes
Tate Britain, London SW1, to 28 August
John Constable (1776-1837) sold just 20 paintings in his lifetime – but then he became too popular.
Constant reproduction reduced works such as The Hay Wain to chocolate box cliches and saddled Constable with an undeserved reputation as a pastoral sentimentalist.
In fact Constable was a groundbreaking artist who jettisoned classical formalism for an art that captured lived experience.
His famous works depicting his childhood landscape in Suffolk were forerunners to the Impressionist movement.
Tate Britain is showing his finished works alongside full size preparatory oil sketches – fresh, alternative versions that Constable never exhibited.
Constable’s The Lock, 1824, fetched an eye-watering £22.4m (with buyer’s premium) at Christie’s in London yesterday following a media frenzy. The work was owned by Baroness Thyssen-Bornemisza who said she needs the money to care for her collection: here.
- Constable’s cathedral ‘masterpiece’ is saved for the nation in £23.1million Tate deal (thisismoney.co.uk)
- Constable masterpiece bought by Tate (bbc.co.uk)
- John Constable (zoethompsonphotography.wordpress.com)
- Constable’s cathedral ‘masterpiece’ is saved for the nation in £23.1million Tate deal (dailymail.co.uk)
- Constable’s oil sketches: atmosphere and light (annemarietickle.wordpress.com)
- Brian Sewell: We’ve seen it all before … do we really need to spend millions to see it again? (standard.co.uk)
- Tate Britain displays England’s first female professional painter (guardian.co.uk)
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Another excellent discussion. I had always wondered why very few paintings were sold in his lifetime. You always add so much to my understanding!
Yes, and compared to Vincent van Gogh, Constable still had good luck in selling paintings …
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