Constable In Love

Constable In Love : Love, Landscape, Money and the Making of a Great Painter

3.57 (38 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
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When John Constable fell in love with Maria Bicknell, granddaughter of a Suffolk country neighbour, he little knew how long it would take to make her his wife. The impediment to their marriage was simple: 'that necessary article cash'. He was a painter without sufficient funds to support the daughter of a prominent London lawyer, and both he and her grandfather, the formidable (and sometimes comical) Rector of East Bergholt, disapproved of the match. It would be seven long, difficult years before they could marry, but in that time he would become one of the greatest painters of the nineteenth century. Martin Gayford writes superbly about Constable's early years as a painter and Maria and John's correspondence provides the lively backdrop to the story; one of lovers' tiffs, London versus country life, encounters with Turner, Byron and Wordsworth, royal scandals and rivalries at the Royal Academy. All the time, John Constable battles to become a painter who can earn his living and win Maria's hand.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 138 x 214 x 38mm | 521.63g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • Fig Tree
  • London, United Kingdom
  • b&w integrated
  • 1905490240
  • 9781905490240
  • 820,718

About Martin Gayford

Martin Gayford has been art critic of the Spectator and the Sunday Telegraph. He is currently chief European art critic for Bloomberg. Among his publications are The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles, The Penguin Book of Art Writing, of which he was co-editor, and contributions to many catalogues. He is co-curator of the exhibition Constable Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery and Compton Verney in 2009. He lives in Cambridge with his wife and two children.
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Rating details

38 ratings
3.57 out of 5 stars
5 16% (6)
4 42% (16)
3 26% (10)
2 16% (6)
1 0% (0)

Our customer reviews

Martin Gayford's splendid <a href="">The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles</a> proved beyond doubt that he is in a class of his in writing about the lives of great artists and how a particular time and place can be key to our understanding of them and their art. In <a href="">Constable in Love: Love, Landscape, Money and the Making of a Great Painter</a> Gayford has triumphantly done it again. <br /><br /> Constable fell in love with Maria Bicknell, daughter of a rich lawyer, granddaughter to the redoubtable Dr. Rhudde, Rector of East Bergholt, when he was young and penniless. His poverty and artistic ambitions were reasons enough for the match to be strongly opposed. Constable wooed Maria for seven years and Gayford mines their correspondence to shape a biography of these central years when Constable became the painter we know and love today. <br /><br /> Once John and Maria marry (in October 1816 at St Martin-in-the-Fields), Gayford seems rather to lose interest in the following twenty-odd years of Constable's life, which is something of a shame. Regardless, Gayford does much to convince the reader that the years of battling for Maria's hand and the years of striving to become an artist are one and the same and the result is a wonderful portrait of a vital more
by Mark Thwaite
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