John Constable RA, Landscape Study: Hampstead looking West

Landscape Study: Hampstead looking West, 14 July 1821

John Constable RA (1776 - 1837)

RA Collection: Art

In the summer of 1819, Constable rented a house in Hampstead at 2 Lower Terrace. He returned there year after year before settling permanently there in 1827. The Heath became a key sketching ground for the artist. Here Constable depicts the view towards the west, with the spire of Harrow Church in the extreme distance on the left. The foreground foliage is that seen from a slightly different viewpoint in Hampstead Heath, with the House Called ‘The Salt Box’ c.1819–20 (Tate, No. N01236 ).

Constable often jotted weather notes on the reverse of the studies he executed. This work is inscribed: Hampstead July 14 1821 6 to 7 pm N.W. breeze strong. Weather records for London in this area on the 14 July show that it was a fine but cloudy day and that there was a ‘very fine sunset’. In this sketch Constable depicts a vivid yellow sunset with broken stratocumulus racing across the sky.

Further Reading

John E. Thornes, John Constable’s Skies University of Birmingham Press, 1999, pp.214-215

Graham Reynolds, The Later Paintings and Drawings of John Constable, 1984, Text Vol. p. 78, no. 21.37; Plates Vol. pl. 244.

Object details

Landscape Study: Hampstead looking West
John Constable RA (1776 - 1837)
14 July 1821
Object type
Oil on paper laid on canvas, brown ground

258 mm x 311 mm x 13 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Given by Isabel Constable 1888

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