Britain: exhibition of John Constable paintings in London


John Constable, The Hay Wain

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.

Go here.

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.