Artwork of the Week: March 27

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John Constable, Arundel Mill and Castle

John Constable (British, 1776-1837), Arundel Mill and Castle. Oil on canvas, 1837. Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1926.53. 28 ½ by 39 ½ in., Gallery 31

Children fish and cattle wander through the English countryside in Arundel Mill and Castle, John Constable’s last painting. Constable captured the ever-changing effects of light and weather in his paintings like few before him: clouds move across the sky, causing the light to shift; a breeze blows through the trees; and sunlight sparkles on moving water. His works had a strong influence on the Barbizon group of landscape painters and on the Impressionists a generation later. He achieved the energy and spontaneity of his painting style—what he called its “broken ruggedness”—with rapid dabs of highlights and thick strokes of paint that he then reworked in places with a palette knife.


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