John Constable’s 1819 painting, The White Horse, is a remarkable oil on canvas artwork measuring 131.4 × 188.3 cm. This painting is part of the Widener Collection and is located in the Frick Collection in New York. It was the first of Constable’s “six footer” exhibition canvases and marked a significant turning point in his career.
The painting depicts a scene on the River Stour, showing a white horse resting on a barge set to cross the river. With The White Horse painting, John Constable aimed to capture the tranquility of the picturesque English countryside, and he masterfully achieved this goal. The artist’s use of light and shadow in the painting creates an atmosphere of calmness.
In the process of restoring the White Horse, heavy overpaint obscured the artist’s original intentions. Still, after restoration, the painting imparts its intended meaning successfully. Overall, this masterpiece has earned its rightful place as one of the most precious artworks in the world.