Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Constable Prepares a Rural Recollection

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Constable Prepares a Rural Recollection

Article excerpt

Who would have heard of Willy Lott's house if John Constable had not painted it?

He did so a number of times. These on-the-spot studies provided the well-known English landscape artist with information he needed to compose a major picture years later –in his studio. That painting, "The Hay–Wain," (1821) is one of Constable's most popular works.

The first known study of Willy Lott's house was done about 1811. The one shown here was inscribed "29 July 1816." It seems Constable used this study five years later to paint "The Hay-Wain." Willy Lott's house is pictured on the left-hand side of that large canvas.

Constable's art was inspired, above all, by the landscape he knew as a boy in the eastern county of Suffolk. Such local scenes as Willy Lott's house, the shallow ford near it, the trees and hay meadows nearby, became so identified with his art that even in his lifetime people began referring to "Constable country."

Paradoxically, he lived much of his life in London. …

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