in john constable’s hay wain we see a mill. what was curious about the owner willy lott

In john constable's hay wain we see a mill. what was curious about the owner willy lott
Although The Hay Wain is revered today as one of the greatest British paintings, when it was originally exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1821 (under the title Landscape: Noon), it failed to find a buyer.
Media related to The Hay Wain at Wikimedia Commons

In john constable's hay wain we see a mill. what was curious about the owner willy lott
The cottage is located on the bank of the River Stour, just downstream from Flatford Mill in the heart of Dedham Vale, a typically English rural landscape. Flatford Mill, along with neighbouring Valley Farm and Bridge Cottage, are leased to the Field Studies Council, which uses them as locations for arts-based courses such as painting, and as accommodation for science-based courses such as residential ecology trips for students up to A-level.
The earliest part of the building is sixteenth century. It was restored in the 1920s after a revival of interest in Constable’s paintings. It has been renamed Willy Lott’s House because this is the name Constable used in his paintings. It is owned by the National Trust. [2]

In john constable's hay wain we see a mill. what was curious about the owner willy lott
Although The Hay Wain clearly shows Constable’s adoration for his home country, the piece was not received well in England. When the painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1823, it failed to find a buyer and raised criticism for being different to other landscapes at the time, in particular the work of Claude Lorrain.
The Hay Wain was completed in 1821, depicting a rural scene on the River Stour, which divided the counties between Suffolk and Essex. Specifically, the scene depicts three horses pulling a wain, or large wagon, across the river.

PLATE V.—DEDHAM MILL. Victoria and Albert Museum.
PLATE II.—THE HAY WAIN. National Gallery.

9. Letter from Ramsay Richard Reinagle to the Editor of The Literary Gazette of London published on May 18, 1850, p. 342.
At an early stage the painting was shown to the late Robert Wark of the Huntington who declared it to be a copy of Valley Farm made right in front of the Tate work. Charles Rhyne of Reed College also briefly examined the painting on site and indicated that he too thought it a copy, although he could not identify the hand of the copyist. Both scholars were interested in knowing more about the painting’s provenance, which, other than knowing that it had been bought in England shortly before coming to the United States in 1992, remained a mystery. The early judgement by these knowledgeable scholars was therefore that it was a fine copy of the Valley Farm in the Tate Gallery in London.

References:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willy_Lott%27s_Cottage
http://blog.singulart.com/en/2019/08/29/the-hay-wain-idyllic-english-country-in-the-throes-of-industrialization/
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/36931/36931-h/36931-h.htm
http://www.authentica.org/spie.html
http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/s/constables-studies-for-the-hay-wain/

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