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Status, price and estimate for the artist John Constable

Price of a painting: 10,000 – 1,000,000€.

Artist’s status for the sale of a drawing or a watercolour: 5,000 – 20,000€.

Selling price of a print or an engraving: 200 – 5,000€.

Who is John Constable?

John Constable, an artist of English origin, is one of the greatest landscape painters of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Originally from Suffolk, a region still nicknamed “Constable country”, the future painter was first and foremost destined for a career in the church. However, upon the recommendation of Sir Georges Beaumont, a great art collector, he was sent to the Royal Academy in London where he received a high-level artistic training. There, he tried his hand at portraits and historical subjects for a while, but very soon discovered a passion for landscape painting. Nature was his favourite subject, he studies it for hours and sketches on watercolours or oil sketches the landscapes that surround him. In 1802, he turned down a teaching position under the pretext that he wanted to be a landscape painter.

A forerunner of Impressionism

His early landscape paintings, characterised by a great freshness of touch and light, were strongly influenced by the great landscape masters who preceded him, such as Claude Lorrain, whose works he was able to admire in Sir Georges Beaumont’s collection. Like the 17th century master, he favoured romantic visions of wild landscapes and abandoned ruins at that time. Then, from 1806 onwards, he began to enjoy depicting more common scenes of the English countryside, decorated with farm animals, churches and cottages.

His creative process is simple: he goes for a walk and tries to represent, in the most sensitive way, the nature he sees. In this, but also for the colourful vibrations of his skies and the great liveliness of his touch, he was later considered one of the pioneers of Impressionism. Moreover, he participated in the change in the conception of art by his peers, focusing more on description than narration in painting.

One of the most important English painters for French art

In 1821, Delacroix, on a trip to London, noticed one of Constable’s paintings exhibited at the Royal Academy ; from then on, he praised the English painter’s qualities in Paris and shortly afterwards, a French dealer bought four of his paintings from him. Then, in 1824, Constable was exhibited at the Salon in Paris and won a gold medal. This was the beginning of his French glory.

It should be noted that throughout his life, he only sold twenty paintings in his country of origin, whereas in a few years the French market bought over twenty of them from him. Despite this, he remained stubbornly attached to his homeland and even declared “I would rather be a poor man in England than a rich man abroad”. This is what happened, Constable had considerable financial worries, mainly due to bad investments. Nevertheless, he gained academic recognition, as he was elected a member of the Royal Academy in 1829 at the age of 52.

A great posterity

His Parisian exhibition at the Salon of 1824 had a huge impact on French artistic circles. Constable thus considerably influenced the painting of Jean-François Millet, the painters of the Barbizon school and  the Crozant School. Today, his works are almost priceless, the record for one of his works having been reached in 2015 at Christie’s for a canvas entitled “The Lock”, painted in 1824 and sold for over 27.9 million euros.

Appraising and selling a painting by John Constable

If you own a painting or any other sculpture by John Constable, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your painting. In the event of a sale, our specialists will also advise you on the various options available to sell your work at the best price.