Constable's Heath

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Hampstead Heath, 1821, looking towards Harrow

The English painter, John Constable, chose Hampstead as the main focus of his later work. He first bought a house there in 1819 but didn’t move in permanently until 1827.

In his painting, Constable familiarised himself with Hampstead Heath by making innumerable studies of the same scenes under different conditions. The views westward from the heath, looking towards Harrow, for example, were tried again and again.

At Hampstead, Constable became more acutely conscious of weather as a continuous phenomenon, forever altering the appearance of the landscape; he became, indeed, more aware of the changefulness of nature as a whole.

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Hampstead Heath, ca.1820, Oil on canvas.