I went to Dedham Vale during the Heritage Weekend, a beautiful part of the Suffolk countryside, and had a tour by a volunteer for the National Trust. The tour took us round the beautiful village of Flatford and showed us some of the sites painted by John Constable in the early 19th Century.
The very helpful and informative National Trust lady who showed us round.
Although I’ve lived just a short way from this area all my life and have visited the site many times over the years, the tour brought a very different interpretation and understanding than I had experienced before.
Things I never knew:
1. Constable picked Dedham Vale not because it was beautiful and tranquil but because it was a busy, prosperous and industrious agricultural scene.
2. Constable made it his trademark to put a ‘bit’ of red in his paintings.
3. Constable always painted his trees without foliage at the front so you could see the shape of the trunks and branches.
4. His most famous painting ‘The Haywain’ was originally called ‘Landscape: Noon’, and there has been some argument over the cart itself. It looks as though it is actually a log ‘wain’ as the gaps in the sides of the cart are too large for hay as it would most likely fall out.
Below are a few photos which I took during the tour with their counterpart paintings by Constable.