John ConstableFlatford Mill ('Scene on a Navigable River') 1816-17

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Artwork details

John Constable (1776‑1837)
Flatford Mill ('Scene on a Navigable River')
Date 1816-17
MediumOil paint on canvas
Dimensionssupport: 1016 x 1270 mm frame: 1331 x 1583 x 162 mm
Acquisition Bequeathed by Miss Isabel Constable as the gift of Maria Louisa, Isabel and Lionel Bicknell Constable 1888
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1810


Constable began this picture, his largest exhibition canvas to be painted mainly outdoors, a few months before his marriage to Maria Bicknell (see Tate Gallery T03900). He wrote to Maria from Bergholt on 12 September 1816: 'I am now in the midst of a large picture here which I had contemplated for the next exhibition - it would have made my mind easy had it been forwarder - I cannot help it - we must not expect to have all our wishes complete' (in R.B. Beckett, ed., John Constable's Correspondence, II, Ipswich 1964, p.203). Prior to 1814, the artist produced his exhibition pictures in the studio, working from oil sketches and drawings, but in that year he declared his intention to make finished paintings from nature. The summers of 1816 and 1817 were the last occasions upon which Constable spent any length of time at East Bergholt, and the last in which the artist painted directly from the scenery of his Suffolk childhood… (read more)

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