Even as the Industrial Revolution was consigning much of the English countryside to Blake's "dark, satanic mills," John Constable (1776–1837) was eschewing the somber tonalities of classical landscape for nature's gaudy kaleidoscope. Decades before the Impressionists, his bright clouds are piled in azure skies, billows of white and chromatic grays bulging with sublime tumult, unconstrained by the metaphorical weight of the Old Masters' heavenly light shafts. Although he termed them "sketches," these small oil paintings are fully realized land- and seascapes that weld material to depiction: The thickly knifed... More >>>