Constable and Brighton: Something Out of Nothing
Artist(s): John Constable
Author(s): Shan Lancaster
Year published: 2017
Publisher: Scala Arts & Heritage Publishers Ltd
Publisher Location: London
Total Pages: 144
Illustrations: 150 colour illustrations
39 in stock
There was more to John Constable’s art than the great rural landscapes for which he is famous. This lavishly illustrated book focuses on a largely overlooked element in his life – his close and artistically rewarding relationship with the boisterous resort of Brighton during the years 1824-28. He went in search of healthy air for his ailing wife Maria and the peace to help him clear a backlog of commissions, and became accustomed to painting on the beach or up by the windmills that dotted the Sussex Downs.
More than 100 small, vivid studies from these walks exist, most dashed off outside in all weathers, some that are almost abstract responses to storms or the light on the sea. This book assembles the most complete collection of these Brighton sketches ever published, some of them only recently discovered. Regency Brighton – what was then the largest and most fashionable resort in Europe – is also explored through maps and prints, tracing the routes Constable took through the developing town.
His great contemporary, Turner, was also active there in the mid-1820s, and a range of contrasting views by both artists is featured here. All of this new research builds on the recent discovery of the precise location of Constable’s seaside lodgings. In a final section the current occupant, artist Peter Harrap, is interviewed about Constable’s resonances with 20th and 21st century artists.