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P1 GDZ SPH P2 GDZ SPH QC GDZ SPH T1 GDZ,CB730 FM CB730 Lambert v2 June 11 2004 8 3. published by the press syndicate of the university of cambridge. The Pitt Building Trumpington Street Cambridge United Kingdom. cambridge university press,The Edinburgh Building Cambridge cb2 2ru uk. 40 West 20th Street New York ny 10011 4211 usa, 477 Williamstown Road Port Melbourne vic 3207 Australia. Ruiz de Alarco n 13 28014 Madrid Spain, Dock House The Waterfront Cape Town 8001 South Africa. http www cambridge org,C Ray Lambert 2005, This book is in copyright Subject to statutory exception.
and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements. no reproduction of any part may take place without. the written permission of Cambridge University Press. First published 2005, Printed in the United Kingdom at the University Press Cambridge. Typefaces ITC New Baskerville 10 14 5 pt and Shelly System LATEX 2 tb. A catalog record for this book is available from the British Library. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. Lambert Ray 1949, John Constable and the theory of landscape painting Ray Lambert. Revision of thesis Ph D University of London,Includes bibliographical references and index. isbn 0 521 82738 8 hb, 1 Constable John 1776 1837 Criticism and interpretation 2 Constable John. 1776 1837 Aesthetics 3 Landscape painting English 19th century. I Constable John 1776 1837 II Title,nd497 c7l36 2004.
759 2 dc22 2004040790,isbn 0 521 82738 8 hardback,P1 GDZ SPH P2 GDZ SPH QC GDZ SPH T1 GDZ. CB730 FM CB730 Lambert v2 June 11 2004 8 3,List of Illustrations page ix. Acknowledgments xi,Introduction To Unite Nature with Imagination 1. Ideas and Landscape Art 1,Coverage 5,1 Approaches to Constable 8. Introduction 8,The Mainstream 8,Social Art History 14.
Perception Representation and Style 16,Meaning 19,Truth in Landscape Painting 22. Summary 24,2 Constable s Theory and British Aesthetics 26. Background 27,Constable and Reynolds 29,General Nature 30. The Mind in Art 37,The Mechanic Part 39,Aesthetics Shaftesbury 41. Sense and Nature 41,Truth and Beauty 43,Classicism 44.
P1 GDZ SPH P2 GDZ SPH QC GDZ SPH T1 GDZ,CB730 FM CB730 Lambert v2 June 11 2004 8 3. vi Contents,Nature in Art 45,Unity of Character 45. Anticipation and Repeal 46,Constable s Theory Principles 47. Generalising Nature 50,Summary 53,3 Painting Is a Science 55. Scientia 55,Geology 58,The Art of Science 60,Constable and Baconism 60.
Natural History 65,Skies and Clouds 70,Experimental Art 80. Sketches and Studies 81,Pictures as Experiments 84. Summary 90,4 Making Something out of Nothing The Poetry. of the Art 92,Introduction 92,Ut Pictura Poesis 93. The Two Sisters and English Landscape 94,Pictorialism in English Poetry 96.
Paintings and Poems 97,Applied Ut Pictura Poesis 99. Poetic Landscape Painting 104,Constable and Romanticism 106. Poetic Qualities 107,Concluding Remarks 108,5 The Chiaroscuro of Nature 109. Introduction 109,Constable s Chiaroscuro 109,Poetical Making 110. Defining Terms 111,Chiaroscuro and Colour Theory 115.
Skies and Composition 119,P1 GDZ SPH P2 GDZ SPH QC GDZ SPH T1 GDZ. CB730 FM CB730 Lambert v2 June 11 2004 8 3,Contents vii. Shadows 121,Chiaroscuro Applications 124,The English Landscape Mezzotints 126. Chiaroscuro Composition 132,Transience 133,Concluding Remarks 134. 6 The Stamp of Composition 136,Introduction 136,Aesthetic Composition 136.
Picture Perception and Attention 138,Formal Pictorial Composition 140. Purposes of Composition 141,Space in Landscape 142. The Ground Plane 142,Space and Pictorial Composition 144. Houding 145,Living Space 150,Space and Pictorial Meaning 155. The Late Paintings 156,Constable s Composition and Art History 163.
Schemata 164,English Models 170,Summary 170,7 Constable and the Landscape Traditions 171. Introduction 171,Constable s History of Landscape 171. Chain of Being 173,The Chain of Art 175,Links in the Chain 176. Titian 176,Poussin 178,Claude 179,Dutch and Flemish Schools 179. Rubens 180,Rembrandt 181,The English School 184,Gainsborough 185.
Richard Wilson 188,Summary 189,P1 GDZ SPH P2 GDZ SPH QC GDZ SPH T1 GDZ. CB730 FM CB730 Lambert v2 June 11 2004 8 3,viii Contents. 8 I Am Always Picturesque 190,Introduction 190,Picturesque 191. Poetics 195,Imagination 196,Theory 197,Sentiment and Execution 204. Picturesque Style 205,General Effect 207,Summary 209.
9 Every Description of Pastoral Beauty 211, Introduction The Pastoral in Poetry and Painting 211. The Pastoral 212,Rustic Pastoral 214,Conceiving Pastoral 215. The Georgic Kind 221,Georgics of the Mind 226,Summary 227. 10 Grand Theory and General Landscape 229,General and Particular in Landscape 230. Characteristic 230,Tradition and Moral Value 231,Grand Theory 233.
Bibliography 253,P1 GDZ SPH P2 GDZ SPH QC GDZ SPH T1 GDZ. CB730 FM CB730 Lambert v2 June 11 2004 8 3,illustrations. 1 John Constable The Lock 11,2 John Constable Boat Building 12. 3 John Constable Landscape Noon The Haywain 13,4 Thomas Gainsborough The Market Cart 21. 5 John Constable Landscape The Leaping Horse 23, 6 John Constable Spring E Bergholt Common mezzotint from English.
Landscape Scenery 32, 7 John Constable Stoke by Nayland Suffolk mezzotint from English. Landscape Scenery 33,8 After Titian Death of St Peter Martyr 36. 9 John Constable Chain Pier Brighton 37, 10 John Constable Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows 49. 11 John Martin Moses Breaketh the Tablets plate from Illustrations to the. Bible intaglio print on paper 58, 12 J M W Turner The Fall of an Avalanche in the Grisons 59. 13 John Constable River Stour Suffolk mezzotint from English. Landscape Scenery 69,14 John Constable A Study of Trees from Nature 71.
15 John Constable Study of Sky and Trees 73, 16 John Constable Ploughing Scene in Suffolk A Summerland 75. 17 John Constable Landscape The Vale of Dedham 77, 18 John Constable Scene on a Navigable River Flatford Mill 79. 19 John Constable Sketch for The Opening of Waterloo Bridge seen from. Whitehall Stairs June 18th 1817 83,20 John Constable Fen Lane East Bergholt 85. 21 John Constable Whitehall Stairs June 18th 1817 The Opening of. Waterloo Bridge 86,P1 GDZ SPH P2 GDZ SPH QC GDZ SPH T1 GDZ. CB730 FM CB730 Lambert v2 June 11 2004 8 3,x Illustrations.
22 John Constable Sketch Waterloo Bridge from the Left Bank. of the Thames 87, 23 Richard Wilson Westminster Bridge under Construction 88. 24 John Constable The Thames and Waterloo Bridge 89. 25 John Constable Landscape The Cornfield 101, 26 John Constable The Nore Hadleigh Castle at the Mouth. of the Thames Morning after a Stormy Night 103,27 John Constable Landscape Stratford Mill 115. 28 John Constable The Valley Farm 121,29 John Constable The Ferry 123. 30 John Constable The Dell at Helmingham Park 125, 31 John Constable Cenotaph to the Memory of Sir Joshua Reynolds 127.
32 John Constable Old Sarum mezzotint from English. Landscape Scenery 130, 33 John Constable A Mill mezzotint from English Landscape Scenery 131. 34 John Constable Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop s Grounds 135. 35 Domenichino Landscape with a Fortified Town 138. 36 John Constable A Lock on the Stour Suffolk mezzotint from English. Landscape Scenery 139, 37 Aelbert Cuyp A Hilly River Landscape with Horsemen and Peasants 149. 38 John Constable Hadleigh Castle full size sketch 157. 39 Rembrandt van Rijn The Mill 159,40 John Constable The Glebe Farm 161. 41 John Constable Dedham Vale 165, 42 Claude Lorraine Landscape with Hagar and the Angel 167. 43 Richard Wilson The Thames near Marble Hill Twickeham 168. 44 John Linnell The River Kennett near Newbury 169. 45 John Constable Mill at Gillingham Dorset 181,46 John Constable A Mill at Gillingham Dorset 182.
47 Jacob von Ruisdael Two Watermills and an Open Sluice 183. 48 Jan Siberechts Landscape with Rainbow Henley on Thames 185. 49 Thomas Gainsborough The Watering Place 186,50 Richard Wilson Llyn y Cau Cader Idris 187. 51 J M W Turner The Straw Yard mezzotint from Liber Studiorum 217. 52 J M W Turner The Castle above the Meadows mezzotint from Liber. Studiorum 219, 53 John Constable Summer Morning Dedham Vale mezzotint from. English Landscape Scenery 221, 54 J M W Turner Ploughing up Turnips near Slough 224. 55 John Constable Stour Valley and Dedham Church 225. P1 GDZ SPH P2 GDZ SPH QC GDZ SPH T1 GDZ,0521827388c01 CB730 Lambert v2 June 10 2004 14 9. A pproaches to Constable,Introduction, This chapter sets out the main ideas that have motivated and structured the.
approach of this book To put these contributions in their art historical context. the first section summarises some of the trends in the recent Constable liter. ature Subsequent sections outline the terms in which I look at Constable as. genuinely an intellectual artist whose thought about the nature and purposes. of landscape painting was instrumental in his achievements The last section. lays out my approach to analysing how paintings work through compositional. structures which introduces a vocabulary of formal analysis based on a modern. theory of visual perception This art critical apparatus complements the history. intellectual and contextual of Constable s approach to landscape. The Mainstream, One body of recent literature constitutes the mainstream of Constable studies. These writers have been responsible for the catalogues to the two retrospectives. at the Tate Gallery in 1976 and 1991 They pay close attention to the biography. which they relate to detailed consideration of individual paintings Cormack. presenting a populist version of this school of thought argues that Constable. can be properly studied biographically because of the dependence of the art on. the life 1, The core of the critical position of the mainstream is connoisseurial based. on close study of individual pictures The analyses concentrate on how far the. P1 GDZ SPH P2 GDZ SPH QC GDZ SPH T1 GDZ,0521827388c01 CB730 Lambert v2 June 10 2004 14 9. Approaches to Constable 9, pictures are accurate representations of real scenes from the viewpoint taken by. the artist before the original motif The 1991 catalogue editors Leslie Parris and. Ian Fleming Williams apply this method consistently in their entries on individ. ual pictures These are much fuller than the discussions in the 1976 catalogue. which they jointly edited with Conal Shields The earlier catalogue had the ben. efit of an introductory essay which presented some more general thoughts on. the bases of Constable s art The absence of such an essay in the 1991 catalogue. is curious signifying a retreat from any theoretical approaches to Constable. Instead the analysis of the exact conditions of production of individual paint. ings is highly developed The overall reading of Constable s career shows in the. way the exhibition was hung and the presentations of the catalogue entries The. themes are locations including the villages of Suffolk and the places in Salisbury. and other towns that feature as the subject matter of Constable s paintings This. shift in emphasis from the chronological basis of the 1976 exhibition shows a. response to the studies of Constable published between 1976 and 1991 The. major monograph of the period is Michael Rosenthal s 2 and he concentrates. on the relationship between the painter and the locales depicted in his work. Despite adopting this framework the 1991 catalogue editors oppose explicitly. most of the ideological interpretations that Rosenthal and others applied to. Constable s work in the period between the two retrospectives. The mainstream writers are essentially pursuing a teleology of landscape. painting in which the ultimate end is a straightforward representation of exactly. what was in the artist s immediate line of sight The implicit aesthetic judgement. is that amendments to these raw observations of nature should be kept to. a minimum and their evident role in Constable s exhibited works are often. described with an air of regret One example may be sufficient to demonstrate. this unannounced premise The catalogue entry for the 1991 exhibition on The. Lock Fig 1 includes the following remark, a view of Flatford Lock from across the mill pool on the right.
bank near the mill house in all of Constable s big canal. scenes he felt the need in the composition for large tree masses. presumably to balance the areas of open sky In two of his. pictures there were no such groups where he wanted them. so in one the 1822 View on the Stour he resorted to inven. tion and in The Lock he invented some of the trees in the. group and adapted an early study for the rest 3, This description neatly characterises the mainstream way of reading Constable s. paintings Invention is resorted to rather than being natural and integral to. P1 GDZ SPH P2 GDZ SPH QC GDZ SPH T1 GDZ,0521827388c01 CB730 Lambert v2 June 10 2004 14 9. 10 John Constable and the Theory of Landscape Painting. picture making I argue throughout this book for the absolute centrality of. invention and composition to Constable s theory and practice. As if to consolidate this point of view the 1991 exhibition hung oil sketches. and preparatory works as if on an aesthetic par and level of art historical impor. tance with the major exhibited pictures There is indeed sometimes an air of. apology for the latter This attitude reflects a widely held view that the sketches. are Constable s major contribution to British art because of their supposed. greater spontaneity This critical position has an historical context Constable as. well as other early nineteenth century landscape painters has come to be evalu. ated through an impressionist filter Earlier art practices that included open air. oil sketching have been interpreted as precursors of impressionism and privi. leged in critical discourse as a result As will emerge Constable s own aesthetic. was bound up with new ways of achieving the status for an English painter of. the great masters of landscape and the finished works for exhibition were his. raison d e tre as a painter, The origins of the mainstream approach lie with the first biographer of. Constable Charles Leslie 4 whose 1843 memoir stressed Constable s differences. from the academic tradition and quoted selectively from his sources in support. of this point of view For example Leslie makes much of the importance for. Constable of completing paintings en plein air to capture the exact appearance. in observed conditions of light and atmosphere at a particular location Leslie. attributes to Constable a suggestion that he completed Boat Building Fig 2 on. site Much of the Constable literature has used this as evidence that the motif. the use of a particular place and time as the subject matter of major paintings. is the defining characteristic of Constable s art This orientation is also rooted. in the mainstream analysis in a period of intense engagement with the locales. of Suffolk shown by the abundance of oil sketches from the first decade of his. working life, Boat Building however is the only exhibited work for which evidence of. completion in the open air exists and even this is ambiguous because there. are notable differences between a surviving drawing that gives the main lines. of the composition and the painting Leslie s biography the founding text. of the mainstream view needs to be assessed with care William Vaughan. undertook such an assessment in an important paper in 1996 5 He has put. Leslie s deliberate construction of the Constable myth in a context of cul. tural politics Leslie was part of a group trying to defend British naturalism. against the influence of continental academic painting These champions of. P1 GDZ SPH P2 GDZ SPH QC GDZ SPH T1 GDZ,0521827388c01 CB730 Lambert v2 June 10 2004 14 9.
Approaches to Constable 11, 1 John Constable The Lock 1824 Oil on canvas 142 2 120 7 cm Carmen Thyssen. Bornemisza Collection on loan at the Museo Thyssen Bornemisza Madrid Photograph. c Carmen Thyssen Bornemisza Collection on loan at the Museo Thyssen Bornemisza Madrid. P1 GDZ SPH P2 GDZ SPH QC GDZ SPH T1 GDZ,0521827388c01 CB730 Lambert v2 June 10 2004 14 9. 12 John Constable and the Theory of Landscape Painting. 2 John Constable Boat Building 1814 Oil on canvas 20 24 1 2 inches Board of Trustees. of the Victoria and Albert Museum London, natural art needed a hero of the English school to bolster their case Constable. would fit the bill better if his sophistication of artistic thought dependence. on inherited art theory and ambitions to produce monumental pictures were. played down in favour of a vision of landscape as simple representation of. Lord Clark many years ago warned against the undervaluation of Constable s. abilities and purposes as a producer of monumental landscape He traces the. development of the composition of Landscape Noon The Haywain Fig 3 from. early drawings through preparatory studies and thence the exhibited picture. The process of developing the composition involves finding formal pictorial. P1 GDZ SPH P2 GDZ SPH QC GDZ SPH T1 GDZ,0521827388c01 CB730 Lambert v2 June 10 2004 14 9. Approaches to Constable 13, 3 John Constable Landscape Noon The Haywain 1821 Oil on canvas 51 25 73 inches.
National Gallery London, structures corresponding to the forms of nature In the exhibition picture the. intervals are larger the rhythms slower and an increased emphasis on horizontals. confirms the sense of midday calm 6 These compositional moves draw on and. are validated by the traditions of landscape Clark takes issue with the notion. popular even then that the studies and sketches are the real contribution and. the exhibition pictures tamed almost emasculated to try to please contempo. rary taste they are evidence that he had studied the great masters Rubens. Poussin Claude Ruisdael and knew the value of the classical tradition 7 Con. sistently with this conventional motivation the outdoor oil studies were prepara. tory in a variety of senses They are compositional or motif studies for later use. in studio based paintings but also I argue a form of aesthetic experimentation. In fundamental method Constable did not differ from most of his predeces. sors in landscape in using drawings and painted scenes and objects from direct. P1 GDZ SPH P2 GDZ SPH QC GDZ SPH T1 GDZ,0521827388c01 CB730 Lambert v2 June 10 2004 14 9. 14 John Constable and the Theory of Landscape Painting. observation in pieces worked up in the studio He brought to bear a variant. form of this practice however which owes a good deal to specifically British. Social Art History, Other approaches to Constable fall under the broad heading of social history. of art looking outside of the aesthetic purposes of the paintings in themselves. to their social or sometimes psychological contexts Recent reconsiderations. of eighteenth and nineteenth century British landscape painting have concen. trated on the social and economic aspects of land ownership They see these. relationships embodied critically or complacently in the pictures As opposed. to the connoisseurial angle these commentators have considered paintings un. der the aspect of the social and political attitudes of the dominant class acting. as patrons In Constable s case these attitudes are usually taken to have been. internalised into his own attitudes and allegiances so that the absence of a social. critique in his works is read as social and political conservatism The interest of. landscape in this view is mainly its subject matter Consideration given to style. and composition is about how these pictorial means are used to present the. subject and its social or political references, John Barrell for example in his 1980 book examines the social meaning. and ideological functioning of pastoral landscape paintings His methodological. base is in the work of E P Thompson and other Marxist historians of working. class life in eighteenth and nineteenth century England He wants to deal with. the actuality of life and the relationships between the rural poor and the ruling. class and what place the poor are shown as occupying in the society of England. seen as a whole 8, One of Barrell s main propositions is that there were moral and social con.
straints on depiction and that aesthetics was secondary that is that there were. limits on the range of acceptable ways of representing social strata in paintings. These concerns lead Barrell to the issue of how far the rural poor depicted in. Constable s landscapes are at work or leisure and how to read the moral status of. their activities The figures in Constable s pictures are generally engaged in some. form of activity rather than pure leisure but usually without much indication. of strenuous effort The figures are part of the landscape on this view in much. the same way as the farm animals or carts property rather than intellectual.


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