Skip to main content
The Cornfield
John Constable
/

A boy has paused from the thirsty work of herding sheep at noon to lie flat on the bank of a pool and drink its cool water. This vision of a Suffolk lane in high summer was painted in January to March 1826 in Constable’s studio in London. The lane winding into the cornfield is based on Fen Lane, along which Constable had often walked as a boy from his own village of East Bergholt to Dedham, where he attended school. The lane still exists but the countryside shown beyond it was largely invented.

Constable exhibited the painting at the Royal Academy in 1826. Despite receiving critical praise, it failed to sell, either at the Royal Academy or at any of the four other exhibitions to which Constable sent it. A committee of friends and admirers finally bought The Cornfield and presented it to the National Gallery in 1837 as a tribute to Constable after his death.

Key facts
Artist John Constable
Artist dates 1776 - 1837
Full title The Cornfield
Date made 1826
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 143 x 122 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Presented by subscribers, including Wordsworth, Faraday and Sir William Beechey, 1837
Inventory number NG130
Location in Gallery Room 34
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo