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.
This print, after a work by John Constable, demonstrates the idyllic country landscapes for which the artist is best-known. The work is typically romantic, without overt sentimentality, and unmistakeably English.
Between 1830 and 1832, in an attempt to counter the negative press his work was receiving, Constable published a set of mezzotint engravings of ‘English Landscapes’, engraved by David Lucas and accompanied by explanatory texts. The text recorded that the subjects of all the plates were ‘taken from real places; they are mostly rural, and are meant particularly to characterise the scenery of England.’ When the publication failed to meet with success, Constable wrote to a friend: 'every gleam of sunshine is blighted to me in the art at least. Can it therefore be wondered at that I paint continual storms?'
The original oil painting of ‘Dedham Vale’ (1828) is now in the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh. Dedham Vale is the valley of the river Stour, near the town of Dedham, on the border of Suffolk and Essex. Many of the scenes Constable painted were made in the area he was born and raised, around Dedham and East Bergholt in Suffolk, including the infamous ‘Hay Wain’.
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.
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 3097-3099, 3101-3102); from which sale purchased by Agnew’s Gallery, London, on behalf of the Ministry of Works
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.