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A Constable Fantasy

Over the Labor Day weekend son Chris and his partner Michelle visited us.  They gamboled on the lawn with their French bulldog Bibi, sat on the piazza with drinks – and we all drove to Williamstown and the great Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute and its wonderful exhibit about Pablo Picasso’s (1881-1973)  relationship to, and admiration of Edgar Degas (1834-1917).  The exhibit was really fabulous. It was amazing to think that these two artists who seem so different in time, and in style, did in fact overlap, and that Picasso was such an admirer that a number of his paintings  are a creative echo of some of Degas’ works.

In another gallery there was a small exhibit of John Constable (1776-1837) landscapes, like the one above, which was NOT on display. I like Constable because he worked from nature and depicted life of ordinary country people of his time. As a reader of English novels from Jane Austen on, I have my own  fantasy views of the landscapes and the life that people lived in those rural areas. My views of that life, however romantic they might be,  is partly what  makes my life here in Heath a joy.  Others may wonder how we survive on our hill which strikes so many people as isolated and rugged, but to me it is beautiful, and a place where I can concentrate on the essentials of a happy life – a loving husband, good children and grandchildren, charming and helpful neighbors and friends, a good library with good books, good food – and every other good thing. Another Englishman had it exactly right, “The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings,” said Robert Louis Stevenson. And so say I.

5 comments to A Constable Fantasy

  • Lisa at Greenbow

    Your life sounds idealic to me. I love this painting. I was just mentioning to a friend about how difficult it is to paint clouds. These are marvelous clouds. This painting says it all to me about country living.

  • Pat

    Lisa – Constable does paint beautiful skies. We have a great sky view here at the End of the Road, all variety of clouds during the day, and clouds of stars at night. No light pollution in deep country.

  • Sounds like a lovely way to spend time with your son and daughter. I guess Bibi did not mind staying behind with the petunia. ;>) I love the Clark and must get over to see the P and D exhibit. Thanks for sharing Pat. The Constable you show is wonderful and like you and Stevenson “So say I too!” Simplicity in the country is a wonderful way to live.

  • What a wonderful way to spend time with your children. It sounds like you have everything anyone could want! (P.S. — I’m also a Jane-ite.)

  • Pat

    Carol – It was a wonderful weekend and Bibi, our cats, and the petunia managed fine. You better get over to P&D immediately. The show closes Sunday 9-12.
    Mary – Any one who loves Jane Austen must almost by definition have everything worth having.

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