Landscape with Clouds showing the Rectory
Clouds over the Rectory, a view from East Bergholt House, family home of the Constable family.
Fascinated by the weather, Constable did over 50 sky studies this year, accurately being able to record cloud formations in his paintings having studied the weather for many years when working at his father’s mill on East Bergholt heath. There he would have learnt how to observe the skies to forecast the weather, a skill that all millers were preoccupied with so they could keep their windmills working efficiently and safe from gales.
In 1821 he wrote ‘I have done a good deal of skying...’, recording his observations of clouds and skies on scraps of paper, planning to piece them together to devise a lecture, as understanding the weather became essential to his artistic practice.