John Constable, ‘Cloud Study: Stormy Sunset’, 1821-1822, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Overall: 20.3 x 27.3 cm (8 x 10 3/4 in.) framed: 34 x 41.6 x 6.4 cm (13 3/8 x 16 3/8 x 2 1/2 in.)

Image rights: Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington

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About John Constable

John Constable is best known for his richly colored, shimmering landscapes of the Suffolk countryside around his boyhood home. While most of his contemporaries depicted idealized landscapes that illustrated grand historical or mythological narratives, Constable preferred to paint humbler scenes of cultivated land and agricultural labor, like his six-foot painting The Hay Wain (1821). Applying thick daubs and flecks of many hues, Constable is said to have used “a thousand greens” to capture the complexity of nature’s beauty. He gave it a sense of drama, heroic action and narrative weight. Alongside his contemporary J.M.W. Turner, Constable is considered one of England’s greatest landscape painters, influencing the Barbizon School and the French Romantic movement.

British, 1776-1837, East Bergholt, United Kingdom