Thursday 26 May, 11am-12noon at The Old Library, Museum & Art Gallery
John Constable, the revolutionary 19th century painter of the landscapes and skies of southern England, is Britain's best-loved but perhaps least understood artist.
His paintings reflect visions of landscape that shocked and perplexed his contemporaries: attentive to detail, spontaneous in gesture, brave in their use of colour.
Yet Constable was also an active and energetic correspondent. His diaries and more than 1000 letters to and from him, reveal a man of passion, opinion and discord. They reveal too the lives and circumstances of his brothers and his sisters, his cousins and his aunts, who serve to define the social and economic landscape against which he can be most clearly seen. These draw a sharp picture of the person, as well as the painter.
James Hamilton's biography reveals a complex, troubled man, and explodes previous mythologies about this timeless artist, and establishes him in his proper context as a giant of European art.