Romantic Landscapes of Constable and Turner: Common Goals, Contrasting Outcomes
The paintings of 19th century English artists John Constable and Joseph Turner share common subject matter but differ greatly in terms of style and intent. Constable’s paintings express a rustic naturalism, emphasizing a personal connection with the countryside of his native East Anglia. In contrast, Turner’s landscapes were informed by his travels through Europe, and his goal was to paint works of historical significance emulating “great masters” while using landscapes as subject matter. Differences and competition informed the professional relationship between Constable and Turner, yet they both shared one goal: to elevate the stature of landscape painting in the art world hierarchy. We will consider and contrast their work and approaches, while exploring how, together, they reflect the economic and political changes occurring at the time.
About the instructor: Rhea Higgins is an adjunct professor in the Art History Department in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Hartford. She taught at Wesleyan in Graduate Liberal Studies from 1986 to 2002. Her area of expertise is 19th century European painting, with an emphasis on post-Impressionist artists.
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Presented in Partnership with the
Wesleyan Institute for Lifelong Learning