About the work
Interpretation about this artwork is under review
The Government Art Collection recognises its responsibility to artists, colleagues and all our audiences to represent the diversity of the UK and to embed anti-racist and equitable practices throughout our work. We are taking action to address inequality in the Collection and its interpretation.
Constable never found a buyer for ‘The Cornfield’ during his lifetime. However, shortly after his death, in 1837, the original painting was purchased for the National Gallery, London, for 300 guineas. Subscribers who supported the purchase included poet William Wordsworth, scientist Michael Faraday~and several artists.
A reviewer for the ‘Literary Gazette’ praised David Lucas’ mezzotint versions of Constable’s ‘The Lock’ (see GAC 1158) and ‘The Cornfield’ as ‘powerful and noble’, after they were published by Francis Graham Moon in 1834.
About the artist
Born at East Bergholt in Suffolk, John Constable was the son of a miller. He claimed that the Suffolk countryside which surrounded him as a child ‘made him a painter’. In 1806, he visited the Lake District and in 1827 settled in Hampstead. Constable’s paintings ‘The Hay Wain’ and ‘View on the Stour’ were awarded the Gold Medal at the Paris Salon in 1824. The great success of these and other works exhibited in France had a significant effect on the development of the Barbizon School of landscape painters and works of the Romantic Movement. After Constable’s sudden death in 1837, a large collection of his work was bequeathed to the Victoria and Albert Museum by his daughter.
- The Cornfield
- Purchased from Christie's, 10 December 1954
- Collection of politician (Arthur) Ronald Nall Nall-Cain, 2nd Baron Brocket (1904-1967) of Brocket Hall in Hertfordshire, Bramshill Park in Hampshire, the Knoydart estate in Highland Scotland and the Carton House estate in Ireland; by whom sold through Christie's, London, on 10 December 1954 (Lot 144; with GAC 3097-3098, 3100-3102); from which sale purchased by Agnew’s Gallery, London, on behalf of the Ministry of Works
- GAC number