Memoirs of the Life of John Constable, Esq., R.A.
First published in 1843 and reissued here in its expanded second edition of 1845, this biography represents an early and informed portrait of the prolific landscape artist and draughtsman John Constable (1776–1837). An upbringing in the East Anglian countryside and his first sighting of a painting by Claude Lorrain inspired his lifelong dedication to capturing scenes from nature, reflected in early works such as Dedham Vale (1802) and in his mature masterpieces, notably The Hay Wain (1821). Prepared by Charles Robert Leslie (1794–1859), a close friend and fellow member of the Royal Academy, this work is based principally on his collection of Constable's letters and papers, drawing also on friends' accounts of the artist. Illuminating his relationship with Maria Bicknell and the influence of early mentor Sir George Beaumont, the book details the development of Constable's career, revealing the nature of his opinions and anxieties.