the haywain

The Haywain by John Constable

1821; 130 x 185 cm oil on canvas

National Gallery, London


Constable’s country in East Anglia, England is a famous  beauty spot that now attracts visitors from all over the world, and the cottage and stretch of river shown here are maintained and preserved by the National Trust. To many people Constable’s picture represents a nostalgic image of the English countryside, with mankind working the land in perfect harmony with bounteous nature, a golden age before the industrial problems of modern times. Although it is perfectly legitimate to read the picture in this way, Constable was in fact trying to create a new subject matter for painting, but few of his fellow artists or collectors could accept it as serious art.