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Stanway Mill, near Colchester
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Stanway Mill, near Colchester

Circa 1833-35

John Constable (1776 - 1837)

Width: 19.7 cm; Height: 14 cm;

Collector's mark
Inscription, 12
Inscription, No 12

Acquisition (source, method, date)
Miss Dorothy Scharf; bequest; 2007 (March)

About this work
Believing that the sky was "the key note, the standard of scale, and the chief organ of sentiment" in a landscape, Constable carefully observed and recorded meteorological phenomena. This richly coloured finished work, thought to be one of the few he exhibited at the Royal Academy, is a typical example of his outstanding ability to convey the intense feeling of a heavy shower turning a previously sunny sky into a dramatic arena of light and shadow.

Alternative label:

One of the greatest English painters of landscape in oils, John Constable is less known for his watercolours. This richly coloured finished work is thought to be one of the few he exhibited at the Royal Academy. Close observation of nature and the effects of weather were the essence of Constable's art. His mastery at depicting skies is evident from this stormy scene. Dark streaks of rain lash over pink and white clouds, their diagonal lines, echoed in the mill sails, creating a palpable sense of blustery wind. (Permanent collection label)

Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

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