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National Treasures

Constable's 'The Hay Wain'

At Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Until 1 September 2024

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

The Bristol Museum & Art Gallery houses collections of art, nature and history, all on display in a beautiful building.

You can discover the last billion years of Earth’s history, explore the region’s natural wonders, and discover more about peoples’ lives, past and present.

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Constable, 'The Hay Wain'

Constable’s landscape, The Hay Wain is the centre piece of the exhibition Truth to Nature. Painted in 1821, ‘The Hay Wain’ has been widely reproduced, copied, satirised and politicised. ‘Truth to Nature’ explores how landscape has inspired artists from Constable to the present day. With art from Bristol Museum & Art Gallery’s extensive collection, the exhibition also includes oil sketches by Constable from the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The exhibition features an early landscape from the 1600s by Jacob van Ruisdael and shows Constable’s influence with examples from the Bristol School and 19th century French art. Modernist landscapes from the 20th century by Christopher Wood and Ivon Hitchens are displayed along with a conceptual land piece by Richard Long and an abstract landscape by the St Ives artist Peter Lanyon. The exhibition tackles humanity's conflicted relationship with the land, which can be both a place of refuge and hostility.

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