Top: "The White Horse"
Bottom: "The White Horse" (detail)
oil on canvas, 131.4 x 188.3 cm. - New York, Frick Collection.
John Constable (1776-1837) is, along with Joseph Mallord William Turner, the great figure of English Romanticism. But unlike his contemporary, he never left England, and he devoted all his life to depict the life and landscapes of his beloved England. However, this self-imposed limitation was not an obstacle to develop a highly personal style that had an important influence on later landscape painters, including the French Impressionists and the members of the Barbizon School.
“A calm, gray summer morning”: with these words described John Constable his “The white horse”, a sensational chronicle of the life in rural England. Although most of the critics consider “The Hay Wain” to be Constable's greatest masterpiece, there is little doubt that “The white horse” was the artist's favourite and most loved work. In fact, Constable himself affirmed that “there are generally in the life of an artist perhaps one, two or even three pictures, on which hang more than usual interest. This is mine”. This painting -originally called "A Scene on the river Stour"- was also Constable's first great success.
Text by G. Fernández, www.theartwolf.com