|John Constable: Life and the Landscape|
BiteSize Biography ebook by Julie Wheeler
John Constable was born in 1776 to a prosperous family and was expected to enter his father’s milling and grain business. During his idyllic childhood, spent growing up in East Bergholt, Suffolk, he steadily reached the conclusion that art, rather than grain, would govern his life.
Through his friendship with local handyman and painting companion John Dunthorne, he developed his early skills capturing the beautiful Suffolk landscape. Another friendship with wealthy, local art collector Sir George Beaumont, introduced him to the masters such as Claude Lorrain which inspired him still further. John Constable now found himself desperate to study art, the thought of entering the family business left him filled with miserable thoughts of duty. Despite his parents’ misgivings they agreed he could go to London and study art with a small allowance. He set off from Suffolk at the close of the eighteenth-century.
During his time with the Academy John Constable threw himself into studying and absorbing both the work and intellectual writing of the great masters. When he developed his own craft he flatly refused to compromise on his own vision and personal goals for his undervalued genre: The Landscape.
John Constable pursued marriage to Maria Bicknell with the same determination. The couple were hopelessly in love but the family of Maria were far from in love with the idea of their union. This led to many, many years of courtship, peppered with secret correspondence and illicit meetings.
This biography of Constable combines the highs and lows of both of his passions; painting and Maria.
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