Thursday, December 30, 2010
One of the commenters asked for me to clarify the differences in the handling of the Constable and the Loraine. Here are examples of each. The Constable is below ( detail of the Haywain) and the Loraine above. These images are clickable and you may want to see them larger to get what I am pointing out.
The Constable is made of flecks of light and is less concerned with the formal evocation of form that the Lorain. The Lorain looks like a head of broccoli. It is invented looking, and is a studio evocation of a tree. The forms are clearly delineated one in front of another as the masses of the tree recede toward the sky. This is intellectually correct and it does express what happens in some ideal tree in Arcadia. The Constable however is a real tree. The reason why is this.....
Above is a Constable drawing of a tree, obviously done in the field. It is a tree portrait, not an idealized tree. This actual study of nature preceded the paintings that Constable made and informed them.
Loraine made an invented tree having all of the workings of a real tree, but not observed from nature. Loraine is so concerned about the solidity of form in his tree that he misses what Constable did not, the half dissolved in light aspect of a tree out in the sunlight. Constable painted what a real tree looked like, not the structure, explained. Loraine painted an intellectually reduced "everytree". Loraine's tree is overly symmetrical and Constable's tree is full of the odd little "happenings" that go on in nature that would never be invented in the studio. He has captured the complex randomness and unfathomable complexity of real nature.
Tomorrow I will talk about why Constable painted nature in this manner.