Cloud study

John Constable British

Not on view

Constable used this sketchbook page to capture a September sun sinking through clouds. The artist’s studies of England’s changeable skies were made as part of a systematic and pioneering effort across decades to record varying weather conditions at different times of day. This work represents a significant addition to The Met’s collection since most of Constable’s surviving cloud studies, whether in oil or watercolor, were bequeathed by his daughter to London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. The exact subject and date remain to be established, although the month (September) is affirmed by a fragmentary inscription at upper right. We may look 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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