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John Constable Wall Art

John Constable (1776 - 1837) was born in East Bergholt village on the River Stour in Suffolk. His father was a corn merchant who owned Flatford Mill and Dedham Mill in East Bergholt. Although Constable was the second son to his parents, he was expected to succeed his father in the business because his older brother was mentally handicapped. So after a brief period at a boarding school in Lavenham, he transferred to a day school in Dedham. After leaving the school he worked in the corn business, but his younger brother eventually took over the running of the mills while Constable embarked on amateur sketching trips in the surrounding Suffolk countryside. The overwhelming majesty and vastness of the landscape of Suffolk was to become the subject of a large proportion of his art.

Constable says it was these scenes that made him a painter. He was later introduced to a collector called George Beaumont who showed him his prized artwork which inspired him. Later on, while visiting his relatives in Middlesex, Constable was introduced to John Thomas Smith, a professional artist who advised him on painting and also urged him not to take up art professionally but to remain in his father's business. However, in 1799, Constable persuaded his father to let him pursue art and his father agreed and even offered him a small allowance. Constable joined the Royal Academy Schools as a probationer. Some of the works that inspired him during this period were paintings by Peter Paul Rubens, Thomas Gainsborough, Claude Lorrain, Jacob van Ruisdael, and Annibale Carracci. Constable also read widely among sermons and poetry, and later proved a notably articulate artist. He was even exhibiting paintings at the Royal Academy by 1803.
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