Home > L. Visionary Art, Modern Art > John Constable: Landscape and Prophecy

John Constable: Landscape and Prophecy

It could be just a fine landscape painted in the colder months in England, but RT feels there’s something prescient or even prophetic about this untitled painting by John Constable. The image, with its loose, impressionistic style, anticipates art that would have been considered avant-garde a half-century after Constable painted it (1811), and its subject is nothing tangible, but rather the mood it creates in the viewer. We see here a movement away from the heroic and romantic concerns of the 18th and 19th centuries towards a direct encounter with nature and experience, the commonplace that is somehow not commonplace. The beauty of humanity and nature are here in balance, a poise we need to encourage in our century.    RT

Painting: Study for or detail of a larger painting? John Constable, 1811. WikiCmns; Victoria and Albert Museum. Public Domain.

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  1. October 29, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Our current wey UK weather makes this feel a very contemporary study. My guess this is a view of working boats moored on the banks of a river, with the occupants having a short break ashore. A moonlit scene too, from the tones. Thanks for this, not a painting I’d come across before.

  2. October 31, 2014 at 3:44 am

    cg: thanks for the thoughtful comment; i hadn’t considered the possibility of a nighttime scene. a sign of a great artist, i suppose: always something more to think about… RT

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