The forthcoming exhibition of paintings by John Constable at the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, on loan from Tate Britain, will be a very special event. For this will be the first major overview of Constable’s art to take place in Japan for 35 years – indeed since the retrospective exhibition at the Isetan Museum in 1986.
Tate Britain has one of the most important collections of Constable’s work in the world. It represents the full chronological span of his output, whilst being especially strong in the powerful late works. Supplemented by a few key loans from Japanese collections, the exhibition will feature some 65 paintings, watercolours and drawings by John Constable together with a number by his contemporaries such as J.M.W. Turner. In addition, the exhibition will include a complete set of the prints for English Landscape which were published towards the end of Constable’s life and which helped extend his influence into the next generation.
Constable is one of the best-known and certainly one of the very greatest painters of nature. The exhibition will include plentiful examples of his expressive and vigorous open-air oil sketches. Some of these were painted in the fields and along the lanes of his native Suffolk. Others, such as cloud studies painted in Hampstead or beach scenes made in the coastal resort of Brighton, convey a remarkable sense of freshness and of open air breezes, which should prove a welcome antidote to visitors given their recent experience of a global pandemic.