DETAIL: John CONSTABLE,  Great Britain 1776 � 1837  'Harwich Lighthouse' c.1820 oil on canvas Tate, London, gift of Maria Louisa Constable, Isabel Constable and Lionel Bicknell Constable in 1888 Tate, London 2005
John CONSTABLE | A storm off the coast of Brighton

Great Britain 1776 – 1837
A storm off the coast of Brighton 1824
oil on paper laid on card
14.4 (h) x 19.3 (w) cm
private collection
VIEW: Article |

This impressive oil sketch captures the immediate sensations of light  and atmosphere on the Brighton coast. In August 1824 Constable wrote to John Fisher that at Brighton ‘there is nothing … for a painter, but the breakers – & the sky’. (Beckett VI, p. 171). In this painting the expanse of sea and sky is interrupted only by distant sailing boats. Constable gave the scene drama through the contrasting energy of the dark mass of the storm clouds and the horizontal strip of sea below.

NGA Home | Introduction | Themes | Search | Learning | Symposium | Visiting | Previous