Study of the Trunk of an Elm Tree, c.1821 (oil on paper), Constable, John (1776-1837) / Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK / The Bridgeman Art Library
John Constable (1776 – 1837) broke new artistic ground in the 19th century, with scrupulous images of nature and extraordinary broken colors. Constable lived in England, gaining fame for his cloud-swept local landscapes. He made numerous sketches of his subjects outdoors, before painting the final artworks in his London studio. Shunning tradition, Constable represented light with daubs of white or yellow, and storms with swift brushstrokes. Although he was snubbed by his own country, Constable won several gold medals in France. His exemplary work strongly impacted the French romantics, the Barbizon school and the Impressionists.