Constable, Wivenhoe Park
Constable’s connection to nature
The present past
Wivenhoe Park, Essex is a record of a particular location at a particular moment in time, but also a nostalgic image of the English past, a past that never quite existed. Humans tend to remember the past as far more positive or negative than it may have actually been and Wivenhoe Park, Essex is no exception. The artist rearranged the landscape to create a more harmonious image. For example, the lake and house would not have been visible in the same view in real life. Additionally, at some point during his painting process Constable extended the canvas on both sides to include additional details, such as a hunting lodge on the far right. The seams created where the new pieces of canvas were stitched onto the existing fabric are visible running through the figure of the young boy wearing a white shirt in the boat on the right side of the painting, and on the left through the neck of the black cow in the left foreground.