the hay wain is a famous work by which artist
Graham Reynolds, ‘The Later Paintings and Drawings of John Constable’, New Haven, London 1984, pp. 67-70, pls. 213-215.
In the 18th century there had been a gulf between, on the one hand accurate topographical views, for example those of Paul Sandby, and Romantic or expressive landscape epitomised by J R Cozens. It was Constable’s achievement to combine these two tendencies: he portrayed his native Suffolk and one or two other areas in a manner both more naturalistic than that of any of his predecessors and yet imbued with a deeply Romantic spirit.
Haywain will always remain the best art work from Constable’s career and the best place to start for those looking to study and understand his techniques and achievements. Other titles such as Dedham Vale are equally skilled but have never managed to obtain the same level of exposure.
John Constable and JMW Turner are the two finest artists of their era and were also fundamental to promoting landscape painting as well as British art in general which previously has been overshadowed by painters from Northern European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands, plus of course Italy who inspired the Renaissance.
Constable always paid special attention to the representation of the sky. “The Hay Wain” shows a remarkable summer sky with stormy clouds. This sky is even more striking in the sketch of the painting (exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London), much admired by Venturi.
вЂњThe Hay WainвЂќ failed to sell when it was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1821, but it caused a sensation when it was shown at the Paris Salon three years later. The great French Romantic painter EugГЁne Delacroix expressed his admiration for the painting, and even the French government was interested in its acquisition.
Sold at the exhibition with three other Constables to the dealer John Arrowsmith, The Hay Wain was brought back to England by another dealer, D. T. White; he sold it to a Mr. Young who resided in Ryde on the Isle of Wight. It was there that the painting came to the attention of the collector Henry Vaughan and the painter Charles Robert Leslie.  On the death of his friend Mr. Young, Vaughan bought the painting from the former’s estate; in 1886 he presented it to the National Gallery in London, where it still hangs today.  In his will Vaughan bequeathed the full-scale oil sketch for The Hay Wain, made with a palette knife, to the South Kensington Museum (now the Victoria and Albert Museum). 
The painting measures 130.2 cm × 185.4 cm ( 51 1 ⁄4 in × 73 in). 
The trees and grass encircle the whole composition with relief from the yellow meadows disappearing to the right which help to stop the painting from seeming closed in or too claustrophobic.
One of Constable’s most innovative techniques was to create light on water by using white paint as a highlight. This technique can be seen in The Hay Wain as the water from the stream in the foreground is disturbed by the wheels of the hay wain itself.