Exploring the influence of Constable in the work of Freud.
John Constable’s Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows – currently on a five year tour of the UK – goes on display at Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich; one of the five partner museums for whom the work was purchased by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund, the Manton Foundation and Tate members in 2013.
For its turn to host the masterpiece, Christchurch is using the work to form the basis of an exploration into the relationship between Constable and fellow East Anglian painter, Lucian Freud. Although known for his portraits and nudes, Freud often spoke of Constable as an important influence and was a keen collector of his work. He championed him as 'an incredibly emotional painter in the proper sense'.
In 2002 Freud curated an exhibition of Constable’s work at The Grand Palais, Paris which celebrated some of his lesser-known works, including portraits and small sketches. Freud wanted to demonstrate the breadth of Constable’s talent, and his engagement with East Anglia beyond the already well-known ‘chocolate box’ depictions.
Here the Constable painting is shown alongside major works by Freud and his contemporaries from the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing, such as Cedric Morris and Arthur Lett Haines. It reveals how the very same landscape that inspired Constable in the 19th century, continued to influence future generations of artists in the modern era.