Artist. Born at East Bergholt, Suffolk, the son of a prosperous merchant. After several years in the family business, he went to London in 1799 to study at the Royal Academy. In 1802 he exhibited at the Academy for the first time and he refused the position of drawing master at Great Marlow Military College. He chose instead to return to Suffolk in order to study landscapes, and scenes of ordinary daily life. His preference was, however, unfashionable and sold poorly. In order to support himself he took up portraiture, which he found to be dull. The death of his father in 1816 allowed Constable an annual income by the terms of the will and allowed him to marry. In 1819 he sold ‘The White Horse' and was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy. In 1821 he showed ‘The Hay Wain' at the Academy's exhibition; what would become his most famous work later left England in the hands of an art dealer, John Arrowsmith, who then exhibited it at the Paris Salon of 1824 where it won a gold medal. He undertook a study of the sky producing dozens of cloud sketches, the depiction of which may best be seen in 'Chain Pier, Brighton.' In After his wife died 1828, Constable never wore anything but black and never remarried. At the age of fifty-two, Constable was elected to full membership of the Royal Academy. In 1831 he began delivering popular lectures on the history of landscape painting. He died in 1837 and was buried in Hampstead beside his wife. During his lifetime he gained little acclaim for painting unfashionable landscapes but is now considered one of the greatest of all British landscape artists.
Bio by: Iola