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The Hay Wain

Places to go

Some interesting places to visit.

Victoria & Albert Museum

Founded in 1852, the Victoria & Albert Museum specialises in applied and decorative arts. The Painting Galleries and the V&A hold some Constable delights and are a must-see for anyone interested in the painter.

There is a section called Constable, Turner and the Exhibition Landscape which includes Constable's Boat-building Near Flatford Mill from 1815. The museum's also has an impressive collection of Constable’s oil sketches and features Dedham Vale from 1802 and Landscape With A Double Rainbow from 1812.

Also on show is one of Constable's pocket sketchbooks that he used during 1814. He filled them with figures and scenery, many of which reappeared in his paintings. The sketches give a fascinating glimpse into the realism of his work, and show that he was not just a painter of chocolate box scenes.

Address: Cromwell Road, South Kensington

Tate Britain

Tate Britain is the national gallery of British art. Located in London, the displays call on the greatest collection of British art in the world to present an unrivalled picture of the development of art in Britain from the time of the Tudor monarchs in the 16th century to the present day.

Constable has a dedicated space in the gallery, and the exhibition Constable: The Great Landscapes is on show from June 1 to August 28, 2006. This major exhibition offers the first opportunity to view his seminal 6ft exhibition canvases together.

These "six-footers" are among the best-known images in British art and feature the famous series of views on the river Stour, including The Hay Wain as well as more expressive later work such as Hadleigh Castle and Salisbury Cathedral From The Meadows

These paintings lie at the very heart of Constable's achievement and not even in the artist's lifetime were they ever brought together. Tickets cost £10 or £8 for concessions.

Address: Tate Britain, Millbank,

National Gallery

The National Gallery houses one of the greatest collections of European painting in the world.

As well as famous Constable's, such as The Cornfield and Stratford Mill, it holds the iconic The Hay Wain, (which will be at Tate Britain from June 1st-August 28th) presented to the gallery in 1886 by Henry Vaughan. Go and have a look!

Address: Trafalgar Square

Museum of English Rural Life

The Museum of English Rural Life in Reading, Berkshire, is dedicated to the spirit of the English countryside and its people.

Its collections have been building since 1951 and are the most extensive of their type in England. They cover a broad range of material relating to farming, rural crafts and industries, and country life.

The bulk of the items date from 1850 to 1950, and although this is a later period than when Constable was painting the countryside, visitors can still get a sense of how rural workers lived. There are 30 farm wagons in the collection, along with horse drawn ploughs, country smocks and much, much more.

Address: Museum of English Rural Life (MERL), University of Reading, Redlands Road, Reading

Christchurch Mansion

Christchurch Mansion is a Tudor house set amid parkland close to the centre of Ipswich. The mansion houses a museum showcasing fine art and period furniture, as well as a modern art gallery with changing exhibitions.

Besides large collections of art by well-known Suffolk painters such as Thomas Gainsborough, there are works by lesser known artists such as John Moore, Thomas Churchyard and Alfred Munnings.

The mansion has the biggest collection of Constable paintings outside London, so is well worth a visit!

Address: Christchurch Mansion, Christchurch Park, Ipswich

Bridge Cottage

A 16th century thatched cottage in the heart of Dedham Vale on the Essex/Suffolk border – a typically English rural landscape.

Situated just upstream from Flatford Mill, this cottage houses an exhibition on John Constable, several of whose paintings famously depict this property. There is a tea garden, shop, information centre and boat hire, and walks are possible along the River Stour. 

To this day much of the countryside would easily be recognised by Constable, and at Flatford, the sites of six of his major paintings can be spotted, including Willy Lott's House (which is not open to the public).

Address: Bridge Cottage, Flatford, East Bergholt