Saturday, September 29, 2012

John Constable & Alfred Sisley

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John Constable & Alfred Sisley

I have chosen to write about John Constable and Alfred Sisley’s paintings.

John Constable was born on the 11th of June 1776 in East Bergholt, Suffolk. His father was a corn merchant with two watermills and 0 acres of land. John left Dedham Grammar School and worked in the family business, but his desire was to be an artist. John met Sir George Beaumont, an amateur painter, who showed him a landscape painting by Claude Lorrain, enticing John to study art. In 17 his father allowed him to attend the Royal Academy. John’s father died in 1816 and Constable became financially secure and so he married Maria Bicknell � she was the guiding passion in his life. Constable and his wife moved to Hampsted Heath, London, in 181. They had seven children, five of whom became artists. Constable was heartbroken when his wife, aged 40 died of TB.

I like Johns paintings because they are so full of detail and warm colours, for example the ‘Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishops grounds’ has a lot of warm colours, such as brown, orange and yellow � making it look like autumn. The Salisbury Cathedral is framed with trees, which make an arch around the cathedral. The leaves are different shades of green and show hints of different browns and oranges which are signs of autumn. The painting does not contain a lot of people and so is very calming. There are only two people in the left hand corner admiring the cathedral. Due to the style of clothing that the man and lady have on, it is easy to say that the painting was painted in the 17th Century. Centered between the trees is a pond surrounded by a few cows and above the cathedral are white clouds which fill the blue sky. I like this painting because of the interesting texture and detail. I also like it as it is very still.

Another painting I chose by Constable, is called ‘ A Watermill at Gillingham, Dorset’. This painting has a different texture to it. It does not look as though it was painted using a brush. The lines are definate and there is a lot colour � brown, white, blue, green, orange, yellow and red. I like the calm blue sky and the brown, natural colour. The reflection of the watermill and trees in the water is very well done � the water has a lot of ripples in it, making the water and the reflection look more realistic.

Alfred Sisley was born in Paris of English parents in 18. In 1857 he was sent to London to study Commerce, but prefers National Gallery paintings especially Turner and Constable. In 186 he returns to Paris and enters Gleyre’s studio where he meets Monet, Renoir and Bazille. By 1866 he had set up home with Marie Lescouezec and their first child, Jennie was born, followed by another named Pierre in 1867. Sadly in 188, Sisley’s wife dies from throat cancer. Not long after on the th of January 188, Sisley dies aged 5.

The paintings that I chose by Alfred Sisley are called ‘Snow at Louveciennes’ and ‘The Loing canal and church at Monet’. The snow at Louveciennes is very blurred and does not look very detailed. It has texture and looks expressive and uneven. The painting looks rough which I think works well with the snow and trees. The painting is mostly white or orange browns, whereas ‘The Loing Canal and Church at Monet’ has a wide range of colour. The pond is full of blues and purples and pinks of the flowers. I like the way the trees have been painted. They look very busy and different shades highlight the tips of the leaves. The reflection of the buildings in the background adds detail to the painting. Again there are just a couple of people in this painting who are placed in a boat in the pond. The painting is set in the daytime which is obvious to see due to the bright colours and light sky.

The difference between the paintings was mostly in texture. Sisley’s ‘Snow at Louveciennes’ was very rough, whereas Constable’s ‘Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishops Grounds’ was very detailed and was painted using small brush strokes. The other two paintings differed in colour. ‘The Loing Canal and church at Monet’ had got a lot of different colour in it. Constable’s painting has got more natural coloures and so does not seem as bright. My favourite painting would be Constable’s ‘Salisbury Cathedral’ because it is very still and calming and I like the way the trees frame the cathedral. The amount of detail is amazing and makes the scene look more realistic.

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