|Flatford Mill, 1817, John Constable|
Flatford Mill depicts a small canal in which horse-drawn barges must be unhitched so they may pass under a bridge from which Constable paints his view of the English countryside in which he grew up and loved so dearly. Constable is often highly admired for his clouds and skies, but the exquisite handling of his trees and hedgerows merits equal praise. Unfortunately, it was only as the quaint countryside began to disappear with the industrial revolution that the English learned to appreciate the God-given beauty of nature which Constable so worshipped. Although it was fifty years after his death before the art world began to miss what they no longer had, John Constable succeeded in his lifetime goal. He was single-handedly responsible for raising landscape painting to a par with the other developing types of English painting.