One of John Constable’s most famous works is the painting ‘Dedham Lock and Mill’, which depicts a mill owned by his father, along with the sluice and lock gate on the River Stour, as well as the tower of Dedham church. The painting was based on an oil sketch and is one of several versions of this particular composition. Constable loved portraying the landscape and community that he grew up in, with rural life being a key theme throughout many of his works.
Although Constable contemplated creating a large canvas version of ‘Dedham Lock and Mill’, there is no evidence to suggest that this was ever executed. However, another one of his paintings from the Six-Footer series titled ‘The Lock’ was able to sell for £22,441,250 at an auction in 2012. There is certainly no denying that Constable’s work continues to hold significant value throughout art history.
Today, visitors can view an exhibition featuring John Constable’s large oil study of ‘Dedham Lock and Mill’ at Laing Art Gallery. Additionally, Art UK has made an online home for every public collection within the United Kingdom which features reproductions of various sizes featuring this iconic piece of artwork.