#FineArtFriday: John Constable – Helmingham Dell

John_Constable_-_Helmingham_Dell_-_WGA5193Artist: John Constable (1776–1837)

Title: Helmingham Dell

Genre: landscape art

Date: first half of 19th century

Medium: oil on canvas

Dimensions: height: 103 cm (40.5 in); width: 129 cm (50.7 in)

Collection: Louvre Museum

Current location: Department of Paintings of the Louvre

What I love about this image:

For those of us who write fantasy set in low-tech worlds, this is a view of how people bridged a creek for thousands of years, using the materials at hand. The scene is beautiful, cool and serene. One can hear the quiet murmur of the brook, the calls of different birds, and the chatter of squirrels arguing over their territories.

But at night, the silence is broken by the occasional hoot of an owl, and the rustle of underbrush as the small nocturnal creatures go about their business. A fox might wander through the dell, looking for a meal.

The amazing sky can be seen through the leaves and branches. John Constable gives us a lovely day, a moment of serenity to enjoy across the centuries.

About the Artist, via Wikipedia:

John Constable RA , 11 June 1776 – 31 March 1837) was an English landscape painter in the Romantic tradition. Born in Suffolk, he is known principally for revolutionising the genre of landscape painting with his pictures of Dedham Vale, the area surrounding his home – now known as “Constable Country” – which he invested with an intensity of affection. “I should paint my own places best”, he wrote to his friend John Fisher in 1821, “painting is but another word for feeling”.

Constable’s most famous paintings include Wivenhoe Park (1816), Dedham Vale (1821) and The Hay Wain (1821). Although his paintings are now among the most popular and valuable in British art, he was never financially successful. He became a member of the establishment after he was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts at the age of 52. His work was embraced in France, where he sold more than in his native England and inspired the Barbizon school. [1]

Credits and Attributions:

Image: Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:John Constable – Helmingham Dell – WGA5193.jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:John_Constable_-_Helmingham_Dell_-_WGA5193.jpg&oldid=723632044 (accessed May 25, 2023).

[1] Wikipedia contributors, “John Constable,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=John_Constable&oldid=1152514837 (accessed May 25, 2023).

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