hay wain today

With any artist who pushes boundaries and challenges the norm within art, it is important to see which artists were their own inspiration.
John Constable was sadly another example of an artist whose paintings were only truly valuable after his death and as such he could never be considered a rich man, despite the skills that he possessed as well as the popularity of his paintings even today.

Hay wain today
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Mill stream – see The Mill Stream

Hay wain today
Media related to The Hay Wain at Wikimedia Commons
The Hay Wain was voted the second most popular painting in any British gallery, second only to Turner’s Fighting Temeraire, in a 2005 poll organised by BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. [4] On 28 June 2013 a protester, reported to be connected with Fathers 4 Justice, glued a photograph of a young boy to the painting while it was on display at the National Gallery. The work was not permanently damaged. [9]

Hay wain today
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Scenes showing a cart going through a ford recur in seventeenth-century Flemish and Dutch landscape paintings. Constable admired these works for their depiction of the natural rather than classicising landscape that were fashionable in his day. The 1838 sale of Constable’s pictures that took place after his death included two landscapes by Jan van Goyen, one with travellers in a cart, one with wagons descending a hill. Constable was probably encouraged that Flemish painters had made such unheroic events the subjects of their pictures. He had also studied Rubens’s An Autumn Landscape with a View of Het Steen and admired it greatly. The oddly Flemish appearance of the wagon and the breadth of the composition in The Haywain may owe something to Rubens’s influence. The wagon does not conform to the usual design of hay wagons or carts of Constable’s period – its sides are too low for carting hay and it appears more suited to carrying timber. It is also very close to Rubens’s chalk study of a hay cart for Return from the Harvest (Staatliche Museen, Berlin). However, Constable did not generally copy the work of other artists directly, preferring to pursue a way of painting ’founded on original observation of nature‘.
Although the painting evokes a Suffolk scene, it was created in the artist’s studio in London. Working from a number of open-air sketches made over several years, Constable then made a full-size preparatory oil sketch to establish the composition before painting the final picture.



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