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A cart on the lane at Flatford

This painting is also known as ‘A cart on the road from East Bergholt to Flatford’


1811 was an eventful year for Constable, with his mother asking him to paint a watercolour of Bergholt Church for Dr Rhudde, spending March at Epsom for his health, visits and correspondence with Joseph Farington* and Maria leaving for a stay at Bewdley, Worcester with her widowed half-sister.

By the mid part of the year Constable's friends worried by the effects the separation from Maria, and by November/December Maria writes asking him to cease thinking of her and to forget that he ever knew her. He takes a coach to Worcestershire and is well received and on his return their correspondence continues.  However at the close of the year his father writes – regrets his too great anxiety to excel and thinks that he makes too serious a matter of the business of painting!

 *Joseph Farington, artist who documented his diary into sixteen volumes between 1793 and his death in 1821 which gave in insight into daily life in the London art community and became an invaluable source for this period primarily due to the meticulous recording of events, dinners, weather, and meetings at the Royal Academy.

Donated to the V&A by Isabel Constable, daughter of the artist in 1888

*Isabel Constable was the last surviving daughter of the painter and gave the contents of her father’s studio to the Victoria & Albert Museum, making them the principal collector of Constable's work which included 395 oil paintings, sketches, drawings, watercolours and sketchbooks.


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