Cloud Study (1822) by John Constable

Cloud Study - John Constable - 1821

Artwork Information

TitleCloud Study
ArtistJohn Constable
MediumOil on paper laid on board
Dimensions12 x 19 1/4 in (30.5 x 49 cm)
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationCourtauld Institute Galleries, London

About Cloud Study

The artwork “Cloud Study” was crafted by the artist John Constable in the year 1821. It is executed using oil on paper laid on board, a medium symptomatic of the period’s explorations in artistry and technique. The dimensions of the artwork measure 12 x 19 1/4 inches (30.5 x 49 cm). It belongs to the Romanticism movement, which often emphasized emotive force and the sublimity of nature. Specifically classed as a cloudscape, this piece seeks to encapsulate the ethereal and transient nature of clouds. The artwork can be viewed at the Courtauld Institute Galleries in London, where it resides as a testament to Constable’s skill and fascination with meteorological phenomena.

The artwork portrays a tumultuous sky, replete with billowing clouds that are rendered with remarkable attention to detail and light. There is a dynamic range of tones and shades in the depiction of the clouds, highlighting Constable’s acute perception of the sky’s changing moods. The clouds are tinged with gray and white, suggesting the presence of sunlight breaking through at certain points. The artwork possesses a certain kind of solemnity implicit within its dedication to the subject of clouds alone, revealing the Romantic proclivity for finding wonder in the natural world. A portion of treetops is faintly visible at the lower right, grounding the lofty cloudscape with a sliver of the terrestrial. Through this work, Constable has masterfully captured a moment in nature, displaying the perpetual interplay of light, atmosphere, and the elements.

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