In Constable’s time England was divided into thirty-nine counties. Constable set foot in just over half of them; he never crossed the borders into Wales or Scotland, still less did he travel out of the country, even when his pictures were creating a furor in Paris in 1824. The scenes that enter significantly into his painting are drawn from an even more restricted area: the six counties of Suffolk, Essex, Middlesex, Wiltshire, Dorset, and Sussex. Geographically, “Constable’s England” is a severely limited concept. In his concentration on a small number of places studied over and over again Constable presents a sharp contrast with his great contemporary Turner, who took not only England, Scotland, and Wales but also the whole of accessible Europe as his province.
John Constable (1776-1837), one of the world’s great landscape artists, was a man who never traveled outside his own country. Even in England the scenes he chose to paint were mainly those with which he was associated by ties of family or friendship. To a greater extent than with most artists, the history of Constable’s subject matter is the history of his life.
I. THE CONSTABLE COUNTRY (NOS. 1-26)
II. COUNTRY HOUSES (NOS. 27, 28)
III. OSMINGTON AND GILLINGHAM, DORSET (NOS. 29, 30)
IV. SALISBURY (NOS. 31-36)
V. HAMPSTEAD (NOS. 37-46)
VI. BRIGHTON (NOS. 47-52)
VII. LONDON (NOS. 53 — 57)
VIII. HADLEIGH, ESSEX (NO. 58)
IX. STOKE-BY-NAYLAND AND HELMINGHAM,
SUFFOLK (NOS. 59-62)
X. ARUNDEL, SUSSEX (NOS. 63, 64)