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John Constable

Sketch for “A Boat Passing a Lock”, 1822–24, by John Constable

(English, 1776–1837)

“Painting,” wrote John Constable, “is but another word for feeling.” These words immediately call to mind his paintings of the English countryside, which unite close observation with expressive, painterly brushwork. Particularly significant among his works are his oil sketches, which he typically painted outdoors, working quickly to document subtle meteorological shifts. Capturing unique moments in time, these works are remarkable for their immediacy and freshness, and were admired by younger painters such as Theodore Géricault (1791–1824) and Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863). The Philadelphia Museum of Art holds one of the richest collections of works by Constable in the United States.