Monday, February 25, 2019

Wivenhoe Park, Essex, John Constable, c. 1816

Oil on Canvas, National Gallery of Art - Photo by Salt Water New England

8 comments:

  1. Just perfect. Thank you.

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  2. First thought here is I wonder if Capability Brown did the grounds. Love Constable skies.

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    1. Yes, I catch your thought; however, it was the landscape architect, Richard Woods, who designed the grounds at Wivenhoe about 40 years before Constable undertook several commissions from the Rebow family.

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  3. Thanks for doing the homework! Saw Essex and thought of Brown. Nice that the Rebow's daughter was placed in the pictures. Wonder if Wivenhoe Park is still standing or if it was demolished. So many great country houses did not make it.

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    1. It was my pleasure. European paintings of that period were the sweet spot of my academic studies. About Wivenhoe today, I see that the University of Essex, est. 1963, is located within the Park. The house is a hotel. (Hotel mgmt. or hospitality is listed among the majors offered by the University.)

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    2. Thank you for answering yet again another question! Although, now I am conflicted. The fly caught in amber of Constable's pastoral idyllic scene seems all the more worthy of nostalgia. Survival of an earthquake, who knew there were earthquakes in England? Requisitioned by the War Dept. in both world wars. Headquarters for the SAS. If the walls could talk in these places. I suppose it is good it has survived and found renewed purpose. For anybody interested in the life of these houses, who would no doubt be Downton fans, look up the British production Debutantes 1939 on YouTube. It is a first hand view into the end of the gilded age. A few of the characters have to be looked at through the eyes of the time, but I found it fascinating. The Duchess of Devonshire is particularly wonderful in it.

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    3. So, I dug around a bit more and found the property was once owned many moons ago by a de Vere who is an ancestor of mine. Means nothing, but that was the icing on the cake for me. I speak of history coming alive through these things, and there is a nice example.

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