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Golding Constable's Kitchen Garden

Landscape depicts the view from Constable's parental house in Suffolk in 1815, painted from an upper window or the roof of Golding Constable's house.
It depicts the kitchen garden belonging to the artist's father, looking over the fields in the centre of the village.


It depicts the kitchen garden belonging to the artist's father and it was conceived with the painting of the Flower Garden as a panorama, moving from the village at the left of the flower garden to the refectory and houses at the right of the kitchen garden. In the distance, workers harvest and thresh wheat. The luminosity of the fields and the sky and the unusual angle of vision immediately reveals that this is an eye-witness account of the scene. The painting was part of  Ernest Edward Cook's collection who bequeathed the entire contents of his house to the Art Fund. The bequest comprised of over 150 paintings, tapestries, furniture, silver and porcelain and was distributed to nearly 100 UK galleries.

Provenance Part of the E E Cook collection, grandson of Thomas Cook of Thomas Cook Travel Agency. Died in 1955 and bequeathed the entire contents of his house at Bath to the National Art Collections Fund.

Oil on canvas

[Reference from Wikipedia]

When words like 'Romanticism', 'rebel', and 'avant-garde' come to mind, one would hardly think of John Constable's landscape paintings as prime examples, but the artist's unique philosophy on art carries trademark staples that can be seen in most of his works. Golding Constable's Flower Garden captures the view from John Constable's family home in Suffolk, England. His father's garden, which the painting is named after, occupies the bottom and right parts of the painting; a small village and a picturesque sky take up the top and left parts. At the time, the artists of Romanticism focused on epic and fantastical depictions of history or imagination. While the era's current art tries to pull the viewer into another world, Constable seeks to draw attention to the everyday scenery of his birthplace. Although he has the option to produce more commercially popular art, he stays true to his artistic goals and credits any achieved success to the beauty of his family's lands.

The oil on canvas painting features John Constable's signature impasto technique - thick layers of paint applied to a brush or painting knife, which produce a full, solid texture on the canvas. This style leaves the brush or knife strokes plainly visible; the artist's force of application is preserved in the paint. When dried, the thick layers form minor protrusions and give the piece a slight three-dimensional effect. The choice of subjects the artwork displays is unusual for the period. He chooses fields, trees and farmlands in stark opposition of the lush jungles, wild storms, and bottomless seas so commonly associated with Romanticism paintings. Constable's style praises the scenery of nature, but also embraces the element of human interaction.

The painting is currently stored in the Ipswich Museum. "I should paint my own places best," Constable writes to a friend in one of his letters. This sentence is the core of the artist's ideals, as he believes himself to be limited not by his painting ability, but by the nostalgia he holds for his birthplace. Throughout his career, he shows that he considers any feat of fantasy inferior to the tangible scenery of a place that is nowadays called Constable country. The artist holds great love and admiration for his home, and in his own words: "Painting is but another word for feeling."


Other Images

<br>Sketch to show Constable's Painting in relation to the current scene<br />

Sketch to show Constable's Painting in relation to the current scene

Golding-Constable Kitchen Garden<br>Low resolution image (for comparison)<br />

Golding-Constable Kitchen Garden

Low resolution image (for comparison)


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