Boat building near Flatford Mill
John Constable

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Constable often painted people at their work and this painting is typical of this. He considered the East Bergholt area where his father owned property to be the "very wellspring of art", and didn't often stray beyond east bergholt and the Stour valley. His paintings were of the rural landscape and mans interaction with it. In this work a man is working on making a boat in dry dock just off the river Stour, the boat and the landscape are painted in perfect detail and yet the man who is sitting in fron of the unfinsihed boat is far more sketchy. The viewer can see that the man is bent over his work but not what he is doing, yet it can be seen it is a beauitful day the clouds are painted in detail and the water is gleaming from the touch of the sun. Constable claimed to have painted this work on the spot, though there are surviving sketches that show that Constable did nothing more to the original composition than rearrange some of the workers tools.

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