About this artwork

Constable's dramatic landscape leads your eye across the Suffolk countryside, along the winding River Stour, to Dedham village and the estuary beyond. This view from Gun Hill looking towards Dedham church, near his father's watermill, was a favourite subject and also features in a smaller painting of 1802 (Victoria and Albert Museum). The composition, with prominent foreground trees, was partially inspired by Claude's Hagar and the Angel (National Gallery, London). The cloudy sky and details are, however, based on Constable's close observation of nature. He applied paint thickly with touches of white to enhance the effect of shimmering light. This painting prompted his election to the Royal Academy in 1829.

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Updated before 2020

  • artist:
    John Constable (1776 - 1837) English
  • title:
    Dedham Vale
  • date created:
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    144.50 x 122.00 cm; Framed: 185.00 x 163.00 x 15.00 cm / 65.00 kg
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased with the aid of The Cowan Smith Bequest and Art Fund, 1944
  • accession number:
    NG 2016
  • gallery:
  • glossary:
  • artwork photographed by:
    Antonia Reeve
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John Constable

John Constable