John Constable, Wivenhoe Park, Essex (1816)
Constable's Wivenhoe Park painting


John Constable painted Wivenhoe Park in 1816. In Art and Illusion, E. H. Gombrich sees this painting as the apogée of changes to art that were implemented in the Renaissance (e.g., the adoption of perspective and the illusion of three-dimenionality). As he writes,

Constable’s painting of Wivenhoe Park looks so natural and obvious that we are inclined to overlook its daring and its success.  We accept it as simply a faithful record of what the artist actually saw in front of him—”a mere transcript of nature,” as paintings of this kind are sometimes described, an approximation at least to that photographic accuracy against which modern artists have rebelled.  (34)

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1923. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Works Cited

Gombrich, E. H. Art and Illusion: A Study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation. Bollingen Series 5. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1960.

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  • John Constable

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