This new monograph explores the career of John Constable (1776-1837), one of the most important nineteenth-century British artists and the quintessential English landscapist. The painter who pioneered outdoor painting and elevated landscape subjects to masterpieces such as The Hay Wain, Flatford Mill and Dedham Lock - seeing his art as a natural philosophy and each work as a searching experiment - is presented afresh in this approachable yet inquiring new appraisal.
In his thorough survey, Jonathan Clarkson offers the reader comprehensive assessment of Constable's oeuvre: from his earliest line drawings to the last masterpieces, including pencil drawings, quick outdoor oil sketches, painstakingly worked studio canvases, and less well-known portraits. Combining biographical detail with a rich historical and cultural context, Clarkson discusses Constable's theories and technique in depth, revealing the revolutionary influence Constable had on painting, from his own time to the present day.
Jonathan Clarkson lectures on the history and theory of art at Cardiff School of Art and Design, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff. He completed his Ph.D. on psychoanalysis, fantasy and the visual imagination at the University of Essex in 1996. He has published an essay on Constable's Wivenhoe Park and was co-editor of Constable and Wivenhoe Park: Reality and Vision (2000). He has also published essays on contemporary painting, photography and sculpture, and was co-editor of Sense of Place (2006) documenting a Europe-wide programme of exhibitions of site-specific art.