JOHN CONSTABLE’S LANDSCAPES, ON VIEW IN LUXEMBOURG

The fame of John Constable (1776-1837) is assured in his country of birth as one of the greatest landscape painters of the British school, but his remarkable body of work remains less well-known outside the UK than that of his contemporary J.M.W. Turner, this no doubt because most of his artistic production is held in England: the bulk of Constable’s work is divided between London’s National Gallery and Tate Gallery.

At this moment the Tate is making a generous loan from its Constable holdings to the Musée d’Art de la Ville de Luxembourg, also known as the Villa Vauban. From 2 July to 9 October 2022, in an exhibition entitled ‘John Constable’s English Landscapes: Masterpieces from the Tate Collection’, a good fourscore of Constable’s works are on display, as well as some by his contemporaries (including Turner).

A particularly noteworthy presence is that of one of Constable’s most famous paintings, ‘Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows’. The works on view testify to the artist’s deep love of nature, as well as his particular interest in painting clouds and trees. Those familiar with the English countryside will appreciate the depiction of its light and shades through the master’s brushstrokes. The coast is not neglected, in views of Brighton and Great Yarmouth (the latter suggesting by anticipation the maritime mood of Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield). Also represented are Constable’s occasional forays into other genres, as in the monumental ‘The Opening of Waterloo Bridge’. 

The sharing for three months of such an important heritage is an artistic event to be deeply valued, and the Tate and the Villa Vauban are to be congratulated on this bold initiative. Constable’s work deserves to be better known in mainland Europe, and this event is a major step in that direction. If you live in or near Luxembourg and wish to feel the healing power of nature, go to the Villa Vauban to catch this exhibition while it’s there! Your effort will be amply rewarded!

The official site of the exhibition is at: https://villavauban.lu/exhibition/john-constables-english-landscapes/

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