(b. 1776, East Bergholt, d. 1837, Hampstead)

Dedham Vale

Oil on canvas, 145 x 122 cm
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Constable's sceptical attitude to the Old Masters resulted not in rejection but in a selective reinterpretation, as in the upright view of his native landscape, Dedham Vale, painted in 1802 as a tribute to a painting by Claude, Hagar and the Angel, then owned by Constable's early mentor Sir George Beaumont (and now in the National Gallery, London). Constable recast the scene in a fresh, sparkling palette of greens and golds and with a light touch with the brush.