Two Suffolk Artists: Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable.

Throughout the world the work of these two artists offers a view of England which is still largely unchallenged. Their paintings adorn the walls of the world’s finest galleries, but they also are instantly familiar to us through a host of reproductions. For generations they have defined what we mean by the term masterpiece. Both artists had a clear sense of purpose, and they both had to overcome considerable obstacles before they could be accepted by their peers. Gainsborough rose to become the portrait painter of high society, including the court of George lll, but he only ever wanted to paint the Suffolk countryside. Constable chose to paint the subjects which interested him, even if the public did not share his enthusiasm for landscapes and rustic scenes. His determination to paint as he wished ensured that he remained relatively poor and neglected. and his attitude towards the art and artists of his age was based on painful experience! This lecture does more than just tell the story of their lives, it also provides a gallery of their finest work.