A view of Dedham from the lane leading from East Bergholt to Flatford
Landscape view of fields towards Dedham with large tree in the middle ground
Unable to see Maria around this time, Constable’s letters become increasingly melancholy.
February – ‘I am alienated from my own family and society and all intercourse with...the only woman I ever loved in the world’. He asks John Dunthorne, his oldest Bergholt friend to send his son Johnny (aged just 16 at the time) to act as an assistant.
By May he is able to meet Maria fleetingly from time to time and by early June: ‘to Suffolk again...the village is in great beauty’
By July he is back in London and discusses with Farington* his future and the importance of his being elected Associate at the Royal Academy in November, and on Farington’s recommendation studies Angerstein Claude Lorraine for ‘finishing’
By September he has painted some landscapes ‘better than usual’ and by the close of the year tells Maria he is hardly yet reconciled to brick walls and dirty streets after Suffolk.
*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.