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.