John Constable The Leaping Horse

Front cover image

Richard Humphreys

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Royal Academy of Arts
Territory: World excluding USA & Canada
Size: 230 mm x 170 mm
Pages: 96
Illustrations: 50 colour

RRP £9.95

  • An engaging examination of one of the Royal Academy's most important treasures, the painting described by Lucian Freud as 'the greatest painting in the world'

Each year between 1819 and 1825, John Constable submitted a monumental canvas to the Royal Academy of Arts in London for display in the annual Exhibition. These so-called 'six-footers' vividly captured the life of the River Stour in Suffolk, where Constable grew up and where he returned to paint each year. The Leaping Horse, the last of these, is now a major work in the Academy's collection, and is the subject of this fascinating new book, the latest in the Royal Academy's studies of its masterworks.

The art historian Richard Humphreys explores Constable's often avant-garde working methods, as well as his struggle to gain full acceptance within the art establishment of the early nineteenth century. With reproductions of the artist's full-scale preliminary sketches as well as brand new photography of the painting itself, this book is the ideal companion for art lovers who seek a deeper appreciation of Constable's iconic depictions of the English countryside.

Richard Humphreys is the author of Wyndham Lewis (2004), and editor of Tate's British Artists series. He was formerly Curator of Programme Research at Tate Britain, London.

Above image: John Constable RA (1776 1837), The Leaping Horse, 1825. Oil on canvas, 132 x 187.3 cm. © Royal Academy of Arts, London. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.