Art Imitates Nature?: The Role of the Environment in the Works of John Constable (1776–1837)


  • C.A.M. Dalmijn


John Constable, British Art, Landscape Painting, Environmental Art, Meteorology, Romanticism


In recent times, climate awareness has become one of the most dominant elements in our society’s conscience, and protest groups try everything to get attention for the ongoing climate crisis. The British painter John Constable (1776–1837) also lived in a period when the world was experiencing great changes due to the British Industrial Revolution. All over the country, major urbanisation was taking place, radically changing the relationship between man and nature. As we will see in this paper, Constable was greatly influenced by a growing awareness of the environment and the climate, as well as the growth of the discipline of meteorology. In his works, he made specific choices about his depiction of the weather and, in doing so, changed the British school of landscape painting forever.