Red Koi Reviews

See what I've seen, hear what I've heard

Constable: Impressions of land, sea and sky

Posted by redkoireviews on 18/04/2006

John Constables Rainstorm over the sea We saw this exhibition of John Constables art in Canberra at the National Art Gallery in Canberra, before we started at the National Folk Festival. Constable was a renowned landscape artist whose work has been reproduced in print but also on anything from biscuit tins to paint boxes. At the time, he was not as well recognised as he should have been because he persistently painted landscapes, which where not the fashion of the day. Now, his oil sketches have been brought together with finished works to reveal Constable as a real innovator.

He was a naturalist painter, paving the way for impressionists that would follow like Pissaro. His cloudscapes, use of light and shadow, and grasp of weather conditions really define his work. Many of his sketches have the weather conditions on the back so he could come back in similar conditions to paint a larger, final version. It made my partner want to go home and start painting. Personally, I like his style, but not as much Pissaro.

We took a guided tour and found it very worthwhile. The guide moved through the works at the right pace, not assuming too much assumed knowledge. If there’s no tour when you go, pick up an audio guide or watch the short documentary on the man. The works are arranged in themed rooms which help to create a story of the Constables life, not just a set of nice paintings. A must see. My Rating: 4 Stars


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