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One of Britain's greatest landscape painters, John Constable (1776-1837) was brought up in Dedham Vale, the valley of the River Stour in Suffolk. The eldest son of a wealthy mill owner, he entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1800 at the age of 24, and thereafter committed himself to painting nature out of doors. His 'six-footers', such as The Hay Wain and The Leaping Horse, were designed to promote landscape as a subject and to stand out in the Academy's Annual Exhibition. Despite this, he sold few paintings in his lifetime and was elected a Royal Academician late in his career. With texts by leading authorities on the artist, this handsome book looks at the near-abstract quality of Constable's late works, and examines his influence upon later schools of painting, from the Impressionists to the Abstract Expressionists.