Willy Lott's House with a Rainbow
Willy Lott's House as seen in numerous paintings during the artist's lifetime, a place he loved best, dated Oct 1 1812 (upper right)
Constable spent 4 months in East Bergholt during the summer of 1812 and his letters to Maria at that time give glimpses of his state of mind at this time. He talks of the ‘melancholy pleasure’ he took in revisiting places he particularly associated with her, of his reading Cowper – ‘the poet of Religion and Nature’ – and of the ‘hermit-like life’ he was leading ‘though always with my pencils (brushes) in my hand’
How much real delight, he wrote on 22 July, ‘have I had with the study of Landscape this summer either I am myself much improved in ‘The art of seeing nature’ or Nature has unveiled her beauties to me with a less fastidious hand – perhaps there may be something of both so we will divide these fine compliments between us – but I am writing this nonsense to you with a really sad heart – when I think what would be my happiness could I have this enjoyment with you then indeed would my mind be calm to contemplate the endless beauties of this happy country.
After a brief meeting with Maria in London towards the end of the summer Constable returned to Bergholt but could not resume his landscape studies: ‘I have not found myself equal to that vivid pencil that class of painting requires’
Sold by Christie's and now held in a private collection