Cloud Study

John Constable British

Not on view

On a sketchbook page worked outdoors, Constable captures a September sun sinking through clouds. The artist’s studies of England’s changeable skies are considered among his most characteristic works, part of a systematic and pioneering effort across decades to record varying weather conditions at different times of day. The present Met collection work is an exciting rediscovery because most surviving cloud studies, whether in oil or watercolor, were bequeathed to the Victoria and Albert Museum by the artist’s daughter. The exact subject and date remain to be established, although the month (September) is affirmed by a fragmentary inscription at upper right. It may be a view west toward Harrow from Hampstead, where the artist lived part of each year to bolster his wife’s fragile health.

Cloud Study, John Constable (British, East Bergholt 1776–1837 Hampstead), Watercolor over graphite

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