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A prominent painter of the countryside of 19th century England, Constable was born in 1776 in East Bergholt, Suffolk which is the setting for the scene of this painting, entitled, A Mill or View at East Bergholt.

According to Martin Atkinson, the National Trust Property Manager for the East Suffolk region, “the topography fits in with a view south-eastwards towards Manningtree from a location to the east of East Bergholt” so this may have been a view the painter was familiar with.

Constable was known to do this and he made no secret of preferring to paint landscapes of personal significance. After exhibiting his first painting at the Royal Academy in 1802, he wrote to his friend John Dunthorne:

“I shall shortly return to Bergholt where I shall make some laborious studies from nature…”

The village around The River Stour is know affectionately as “Constable Country”, as he would write later in 1821 “ “I should paint my own places best…I associate my ‘careless boyhood’ to all that lies on the banks of the Stour.”

Due to the ill health of his wife, Maria Bicknell, he spent his adult years in Hampstead which was then, the outskirts of central London where the air was less polluted.

Here is a painting entitled Storm Clouds over Hampstead which sold at Christies for £409, 205 in London in 2012.

Screen Shot 2016-09-30 at 16.52.51 Storm Clouds over Hampstead, John Constable, R.A. (1776-1837)

Constable believed that his paintings should come from nature as directly as possible and being deeply religious, wanted to be as faithful to “God’s own work” as he could.

His work is moving and direct and always performs well at auction. His most famous work, The Hay Wain, is part of the permeant collection at the National Gallery. The Hay Wain, a type of horse-drawn cart, stands in the water next to a mill on the left of the painting. Across the meadow in the distance on the right, is a group of haymakers at work. The scene is plucked from his beloved Suffolk and looks much the same today.

Screen Shot 2016-09-30 at 16.54.42 The Hay Wain, John Constable R.A (1776-1837)

A beautiful painting by a well-loved artist like the one sent into us could fetch upwards of £200,000 so we will keep you updated if it comes to sale.

Such a masterpiece surely won't be hanging around for long!

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