Monday, August 23, 2010

John Constable - Famous Men and Women of Suffolk No1 in a Series.


Way back in 2005 on this blog I ran a short series promoting the most famous men and women from Suffolk, England which is my home. I thought it was time to  re visit this series starting with those famous men and women I originally added and then look to add more  names.

Though this has little to do with running I hope it will serve to  broaden the knowledge of any interested readers in the people and the county where I run. After all it is Running in Suffolk.

My series began originally  with perhaps the famous of all Suffolk folk - John Constable. I have repeated  it below with some updating.

John Constable 1776-1837.
1st Day Cover
East Bergholt in Suffolk is the home of John Constable, the world famous romantic landscape artist.

It must have been a combination of the big Suffolk skies, the winding lanes and thatched houses that gave Constable the inspiration to paint. John Constable was born in 1776, his father was a wealthy miller who owned water mills at Flatford Mill and Dedham. He must have been a bit of a disappointment to his father who perhaps wanted him to follow in his footsteps and for a short while he did work at one of the water mills but it seems he was easily sidetracked and would end up sketching.

Constable was admitted to the Royal Academy in 1799.  However he was often  dreadfully homesick for Suffolk.
Like many artists Constable wasn't particularly successful during his lifetime,his picture of the Haywain received acclaim in France but he wasn't that popular in England. It is said that during his lifetime he only sold twenty paintings in England.

"I should paint my own places best", he wrote to his friend John Fisher in 1821.

John Constable spent a short period at a boarding school in Lavenham Suffolk

Constable wasn’t seen as a suitable match for  Maria Bicknell. Her parents believing she would be marrying below her station . It was only after John's father Golding Constable died in 1816 that they married later that year. None of Maria's family attended the wedding. After 12 years of marriage and 7 children Maria died from pulmonary tuberculosis . Constable was heartbroken and is quoted as saying 'I shall never feel again as I have felt, the face of the world is totally changed for me'.
Constable died on March 31, 1837, and is buried in the churchyard of St John’s, Hampstead.
Constable once said “No two days are alike, nor even two hours; neither were there ever two leaves of a tree alike since the creation of the world. The sound of water escaping from mill dams, willows, old rotten planks, slimy posts and brickwork, I love such things. These scenes made me a painter.”

Today thousands of people descend upon East Bergholt which struggles at times to receive the volumes of tourists.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Running in Suffolk