John Constable: A Portrait

John Constable: A Portrait

by James Hamilton
John Constable: A Portrait

John Constable: A Portrait

by James Hamilton

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Overview

A fresh and lively biography of the revolutionary landscape painter John Constable.

John Constable, who captured the landscapes and skies of southern England in a way never before seen on canvas, is beloved but little-understood artist.

His paintings reflect visions of landscape that shocked and perplexed his contemporaries: attentive to detail, spontaneous in gesture, brave in their use of color. His landscapes show that he had sharp local knowledge of the environment.  His skyscapes show a clarity of expression rarely seen in other artist's work.  The figures within show an understanding of the human tides of his time. And his late paintings of Salisbury Cathedral show a rare ability to transform silent, suppressed passion into paint.

Constable was also an active and energetic correspondent. His letters and diaries reveal a man of opinion, passion, and discord. His letters also reveal the lives and circumstances of his extended family who serve to define the social and economic landscape against which he can be most clearly seen. These multifaceted reflections draw a sharp picture of the person, as well as the painter.

James Hamilton's biography reveals a complex and troubled man.  Hamilton's portrait explodes previous mythologies about this timeless artist and establishes him in his proper context as a giant of European art.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781639362738
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 11/01/2022
Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format: eBook
Pages: 496
File size: 29 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

James Hamilton is an art and cultural historian. His books include Turner: A Life, which was shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and A Strange Business: Making Art and Money in Nineteenth-Century Britain,  which in 2014 was named Art Book of the Year by the Sunday Times. Hamilton has been the curator of an array of art collections and projects and is a Fellow of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

Table of Contents

Illustrations x

Maps xii

Acknowledgements xix

Author's Note xxi

Introduction 1

I Overture

1 Golden Constable 9

2 Family Album 14

3 East Bergholt 22

II Operetta: 1783-1816

4 The Don and the Friday 31

5 The Grand Caesar 38

6 Young Baronet and Bishop-in-Waiting 41

7 This cardinal purpose 48

8 Smith and Gainsborough 56

9 A lusty young man 61

10 Devoted to art 67

11 Boldness, care and patience 76

12 Constable's Seven Articles 84

13 Portraits prevail too much 94

14 Through the walls we flew 104

15 Industrious, temperate and plainly dressed 110

16 Pray be careful of yourself 125

17 Seven years since I avowed my love for you 131

18 An artist unprovided for 140

19 Hearts so united 149

20 Entirely and forever yours 158

III Opera: 1816-1828

21 The real cause of your want of popularity 171

22 Our little house in Keppel Street 178

23 The humming top friendship 185

24 On Hampstead Heath 194

25 I think it promises well 205

26 Landscape: Noon 211

27 A superior sort of workpeople 218

28 I must go into Suffolk soon 225

29 The French man 233

30 I shall … throw them all out of the window 240

31 Brighton and home 249

32 My ambition is on fire 262

33 The rubs and ragged edges of the world 272

34 The life in common things 286

35 Gentlemen can never afford to buy pictures 293

36 But still they tell me she does mend 302

IV Unfinished Symphony: 1828-1837

37 Rude ruins glitter 313

38 Life slips 322

39 David Lucas 330

40 Brother labourer 337

41 Yes Sir - this is Constable's country 343

42 Charles Boner 351

43 Lecturer: novel, instructive and entertaining 356

44 Papa, remember how happy you were 368

45 As regular as a clock 376

46 Time 382

47 I knew Mr Constable 390

Cast of Characters 393

Abbreviations to Notes 397

Notes 399

Select Bibliography 447

Index 451

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