No artist has rivalled John Constable (1776-1837) in his powers to express the beauties of the British countryside, especially the scenery of his native East Anglia. He sought above all to make 'pure and unaffected representarions of the scenes', and to this end he made detailed studies of the minutest phenomena of nature. He wrote: 'My limited and abstracted art is to be found under every hedge, and in eveyr lane...'. But this feeling for such qualities had to be reconciled with the traditional - and what were for him the essential - demands of of painting pictures for public exhibition. In this book many of his most famous pictures are reproduced, showing how Constable adjusted the fresh, spontaneous handling of paint in his sketches to mroe formal, academic requirements.
John Sunderland's enormously successful survey of the life and work of Constable was first published in 1971. Each full-page colour plate is accompanied by an explanatory text, and over fifty black-and-white illustrations offer comparisons with the paintings.