John Constable

John Constable (1776-1837) was self-taught in watercolours until he entered the Royal Academy School in London in 1800. Concerned with the effect of light, air and sky, rather than the details of the landscape, Constable sketched outdoors in watercolour before working up his paintings in oils in the studio. In 1824 he exhibited his Hay wain at the Paris Salon, winning the Gold Medal; yet his works in England were little regarded although he had been exhibiting since 1802. He was finally elected a member of the Royal Academy in 1829, but thought the honour too little, too late, and spent his last years almost as a recluse. Today he is recognised as one of the early masters of the technique of using broken touches of colour to convey light and movement.

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