John Constable Letter To Fisher

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John Constable is known by many as one of the most influential landscape painters of the Romantic Movement. In two letters written in the1820s to his close friend, Reverend John Fisher, Constable shares a few of his main philosophies as well as more private ideas about his objectives as a landscape artist. Constable’s October 1821 “skying” letter primarily shares his views about the importance of adequately depicting skies. He also reveals that his greatest inspiration as a painter comes from the natural world observed in his family's home district in England. In December 1825, Constable’s letter to Reverend Fisher about the “business” of art also includes observations about the work of his contemporaries, views of his supporters and critics…show more content…
In his letters to Fisher, Constable is explicitly critical of artists that do not take the time to observe and study nature as it truly is. He quotes a fellow English painter, James Northcote, who stated,”[some artists] know as little of nature as a hackney-coach horse does of a pasture.” Constable himself complains about the techniques of some of his fellow artists, “In fact, it is worse, they make painful studies of… leaves, rocks, stones, etc… so that they look cut out, without belonging to the whole, and they neglect the look of nature altogether under its various changes.” To Constable, direct observation of nature was a fundamental part of creating a successful landscape. He felt that if one is not able to truly understand how to depict nature in its entirety, not rock-by-rock or tree-by-tree, then it is impossible to evoke an emotional response to a natural setting, which he viewed as the principle purpose of landscape

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