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A year of John Constable begins at Wivenhoe House

John Constable painting of Wivenhoe House

John Constable painting of Wivenhoe House

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Wivenhoe House has launched a series of events marking the 200th anniversary of a John Constable painting of the building.

Constable was paid 100 guineas to paint the family home of then owner General Francis Rebow in 1816, a commission which secured his future both financially and romantically as the money allowed him to marry fiancee Maria Bicknell – whose father had not approved of the union.

Now home to a four-star hotel and hospitality school, Grade II-listed Wivenhoe House is holding a Constable Challenge on June 12 when the public can set up their easels in the grounds.

A professional artist is being commissioned to create a 21st century interpretation of the original painting, to be unveiled at an autumn exhibition which will also feature Constable Challenge works.

The University of Essex’s annual art competition, closing at the beginning of March, also has a Constable theme this year.

Oliver Brown, general manager of Wivenhoe House, said: “We hope as many people as possible get involved in our celebrations. This was an important time in Constable’s life and his last painting before moving to London.

“You can still walk in Constable’s footsteps within the park and we hope the landscape will inspire artists young and old.”

Schools and businesses can to apply to contribute to a giant Constable canvas, made up of 12 segments.

For more details on the projects visit the Wivenhoe House web site.

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