Wivenhoe Park, Essex (1816)

Constable, John (1776-1837)

Wivenhoe Park, Essex
Oil on canvas, 56.1 x 101.2 cm
National Gallery of ArtWashington

We look out onto a landscape with low, grassy hills to the left, a lake to the right, and a brick building in the center distance below a sky filled with towering white clouds in this horizontal painting. A wooden fence closer to us crosses the landscape from the lower left corner and disappears where the land slopes down to meet the water at the center of the painting. Several black and white cows graze in the field beyond the fence to our left. Two men in a wooden boat pull in nets on the lake to our right near a pair of swans. The lake crosses the composition in the near distance, disappearing into a culvert farther back. A donkey pulls a small carriage with two people near a bridge that crosses the lake in the distance to our left. The brick manor house is visible through a break in the full, deep green trees that line the horizon, which comes halfway up the composition. The clouds cast noticeable shadows in the brightly sunlit scene. (NGA)