The Haywain by John Constable is a British landscape oil painting which remains his best known and finest work. This page is devoted to this famous painting and offers information on it as well as coverage of the artist's career in general as well.
There is also mention of Constable's other notable paintings plus links to where you can buy your own Haywain prints to hang on your home or office wall.
John Constable and JMW Turner are the two finest artists of their era and were also fundamental to promoting landscape painting as well as British art in general which previously has been overshadowed by painters from Northern European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands, plus of course Italy who inspired the Renaissance.
The Haywain itself was created by John Constable in 1821 at the height of his skills and experience. It is a crying shaming that he was to pass away at only 60, just 16 years after he produced The Haywain when surely any further years would likely have included many more classic British landscape paintings.
Within the career that he did have, though, there is a great list of extraordinary paintings and preparatory sketches still remaining that make his career considerable in depth and quality alike.
John Constable was sadly another example of an artist whose paintings were only truly valuable after his death and as such he could never be considered a rich man, despite the skills that he possessed as well as the popularity of his paintings even today.
It is very typical for artists that challenge artistic norms of their era to fail to achieve financial reward for their work and only future generations to understand and accept their work in the way it deserves.
John Constable finally received official academic acceptance in joining the Royal Academy at the age of 52 after many years of hard toil as a skilled artist involved in a art style that was still struggling for acceptance.
It seems incredible in the modern era that landscape painting ever struggled for acceptance but this was very much the case for artist John Constable who was up against the more accepted artist topics of religious scenes and commission-based portraits of rich noblemen and families.
Haywain will always remain the best art work from Constable's career and the best place to start for those looking to study and understand his techniques and achievements. Other titles such as Dedham Vale are equally skilled but have never managed to obtain the same level of exposure.
Within art most successful artists try out many different combinations of art mediums and styles within their career as they develop and seek new avenues of inspiration and creativity.
There can be no doubt that Constable had this same creativity by taking on accepted artistic norms of the time and promoting landscape painting as an art form to be respected almost single handedly during his era as a prominent painter.
Despite this innovation he never swayed from a consistent approach to oil on canvas landscape paintings, even based in the same general location of Suffolk in the South East of England.
The success of John Constable is shown with the prominence of his paintings even today within only the finest galleries of the United Kingdom where he produced his exceptional art, plus also the extraordinary prices which are attributed to his paintings within auctions on the rare occasions that they come up for sale.
The British people are fundamentally proud of their green rural landscapes and no other artist has done more to promote them than John Constable who also laid the foundations for many international landscape artists that followed.
John Constable played a crucial role in the rise of landscape painting as an accepted art form within the mainstream and it's easy to take his career for granted with so many landscape artists now around.
With any artist who pushes boundaries and challenges the norm within art, it is important to see which artists were their own inspiration.
For John Constable it is generally accepted that those who had the most influence on his career and chosen genre included Thomas Gainsborough, Annibale Carracci, Claude Lorrain, Peter Paul Rubens and Jacob van Ruisdael.
List of Famous John Constable Paintings
John Constable produced an exceptional career of landscape paintings, and The Haywain is far from his only notable art work. See below for a list of the most famous paintings by John Constable.
- Dedham Vale
- Landscape: Ploughing Scene in Suffolk
- Boat-building near Flatford Mill
- Golding Constable's Flower Garden
- Golding Constable's Kitchen Garden
- Portrait of Maria Bicknell, Mrs. John Constable
- Wivenhoe Park, Essex
- Flatford Mill (original title Scene on a Navigable River
- Weymouth Bay
- The White Horse
- Hampstead Heath
- Stratford Mill
- The Hay Wain
- View on the Stour near Dedham
- Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Grounds
- Seascape Study with Rain Clouds
- Brighton Beach
- The Leaping Horse
- The Cornfield
- Dedham Vale
- Hadleigh Castle
- Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows
- The Valley Farm
- Arundel Mill and Castle