Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Flatford Mill and the Artist John Constable

Last week we took a trip to Flatford Mill in Dedham Vale. Less than an hours drive from home and famous for being the place where John Constable, the famous English painter, lived and did most of his paintings. The following link will give you lots of history and information if you are interested.

John Constable 1776-1837 was a Master of English Landscape painting in the romantic style. As well as being known for his painting in the open air, he is also known for his depiction of reflections on water and light on clouds.

This painting of Constable's looks across the fields to the village of Dedham and one can just see the church on the horizon.

Here is the same scene today and like with all the paintings, the trees have grown in the years between painting and photo.

Bridge Cottage now houses a museum and the whole area is now managed by The National Trust.

The back of the cottage overlooking the river stands next to a restaurant, also run by the Trust where we had a delicious Cottage Pie with Salad.(Lamb and vegetables with a potatoe topping covered in grated cheese,not a pastry crust) for the uninitiated.

This is the back of the old Granary which is now a private house offering bed and breakfast with rooms that open out right into the garden on the riverside. We both thought we might like to spend a couple of nights there as the area is popular with walkers.

The front of The Granary. This was once owned by John Constable's Father, but the family lived in East Bergholt, a couple of miles down the road.

We are now looking at the dry dock featured in John's paintings showing the original timbers. And here is the painting.

We digress from the front of the buildings to again look at the back of The Mill from across the river.

Back across the bridge onto the road

Where we see the front of the Mill which is now used for painting courses

We now come to the exact spot where the famous picture The Hay Wain was painted.

The painting

Willie Lott's cottage which became famous as a result of being included in the painting

The Hall used for accommodation during painting courses

Having walked around Flatford we did a 3 mile circular walk which took in the village of Dedham half way round. (you may remember my post on our visit to Dedham last November.) I'll keep the walk for another post and hope that you will come with me.


Andrea said...

Barbara, thank you for this lovely tour. I have always loved the work of John Constable, but knew little about him.

God bless you. Rest well this London evening.


Elizabeth said...

I have never been here
so thrilled to make a virtual visit!

Susan said...

How neat to have the paintings displayed at the very place they were done!

Anonymous said...

Barbara, this is wonderful. I am familiar with his name, but don't know a lot about him. I enjoyed reading about him. The pictures are very good. Those are great inspirations for painting.

A Brit in Tennessee said...

What beauty !!
The photos are just brilliant, and to show the painting comparisons alongside an absolute feast for the eyes....
Thanks for sharing this lovely post, it's what I miss most about my homeland...the beauty.

Sara said...

Your photos are lovely Barbara, and it is interesting to compare the paintings with the present day scene.

That's a funny little room built out under the eaves on the photo before the first one of the Hay Wain. Looks like they added a bathroom but rather awkwardly!

Deanna said...

Outstanding post.

Vee said...

Wonderful tour and I enjoyed learning more about John Constable. John and I also looked at a lot of roofs. I'm wondering if one of them is a thatched roof...the one with what appears to be netting...wait, I'm going back to count pictures...#s 3,6, and 7?

Thanks for juxtaposing the picture with a current photo...very interesting!

Vee said...

...that should be the painting with the current photo...sometimes I confuse myself.

Willow said...

How very interesting! I so enjoyed seeing both the paintings and photographs together.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful village Barbara. I'd love to visit it some day. It was so interesting to see the then and now of the scenery

Linda said...

I don't know much about art but I've always known who Constable was and loved his paintings. What a great place!

Mike said...

Your photos look so painterly...beautiful :)

Kate said...

My Mum loved the works of Constable and we had 'The Haywain' above the fireplace for many years.
She would have loved to see the comparison photos and, really, how little things have changed...

I enjoyed it for her.. thank you!

Elizabethd said...

There was a Television programme recently showing the area where the Haywain was painted, most interesting.

Needled Mom said...

That must have been such a lovely visit. I, too, would like to arrange a stay there for a few days. I can certainly see from where the inspiration for the paintings came.

I will look forward to the walk photos.

Maree said...

Unbelievable...less than one hour from your home you can see all of this! How fortunate! I want to see too...thank you so much for sharing your visit. How lovely.

I'm ga-ga over my grand babies...blogging lets me induldge!