Monday, November 27, 2006


There is a tour of paintings by Constable that is currently in the National Gallery of Art in Washington. All of his giant paintings are there. Most of them come in two versions: one painted quickly at the location and one painted slowly in the studio. The quick paintings look like impressionism. They practically all have the same layout: big trees on the left, fields on the right, details in the middle.

He painted tiny pictures, too, and some are on display. He is considered the best English landscape painter.


DMS said...

Very interesting, I didn't know that was the way he painted. Do you know any (online) images that compare the two versions, because I would love to see that.

Bruno D -

Dr.B said...

Yes, it was fascinating. I couldn't find anything on line. The exhibt consists of the whole set of six foot paintings and then a variety of preparatory materials, including sketches and small paintings--and giant six foot paintings which obviously looked like fast versions of the finished product hanging right next to it. It was amazing to see them hanging side by side. Always there were minor differences, trees and people moved or removed.

I looked to see who owned each painting, and the sketch versions are in major museums just like the finished ones. I had noticed that some Constable looked quite different from others, but now I know why.