Lecture: Investigating John Constable’s materials and techniques
With Sarah Cove from ‘Fake or fortune?’
Join us for this exciting lecture by leading UK conservator Sarah Cove, sharing her deep expertise on the oil painting techniques of John Constable, as featured in her recent appearance in the BBC TV series Fake or fortune?.
John Constable (1776-1837) is considered the quintessential British landscape painter. But what went into making his most ambitious pictures? And are they simply ‘chocolate box’ countryside scenes or was he the radical ‘Jackson Pollock of the 1830s’?
In this lecture, Sarah will share her discoveries of Constable’s extraordinary technique and methods. Based on her 30 years of extensive work on the Constable Research Project, she will reveal how the artist made his so-called ‘six-footers’, which include some of his most famous paintings: The white horse (1819), The haywain (1821) and Salisbury cathedral from the meadows (1831). Constable’s sketches for the ‘six-footers’ were unique creations in the early 19th century and were unseen by all but his family and closest friends during his lifetime.
Illustrated by highly detailed images taken during technical and scientific examination of the paintings, this talk will be a treat for anyone interested in the art and science of oil paintings, their making and their conservation. You’ll never look at Constable the same way again!
About the speaker
Sarah Cove has worked as a paintings conservator-restorer, technical art historian and lecturer since the mid 1980s. She founded the Constable Research Project in 1986 and is now the recognised authority on John Constable’s painting materials and techniques, consulting regularly to international museums and galleries, private collectors and salesrooms. She has published and lectured widely in the UK and internationally, including essays in the exhibition catalogues for Tate’s Constable (1991) and Constable: the great landscapes (2006) and has appeared in a number of TV programs, including Constable in love with Andrew Graham-Dixon and BBC One’s Fake or fortune?.
Image: Sarah Cove