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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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During the 19th-century, John Constable was a renowned 19th-century English landscape painter. Known for his landscapes, some of Constable's most famous works are of the Suffolk countryside. The painting that we most associate with Constable is The Hay Wain. Of his many other landscapes, in 1809 he produced the picture of Malvern Hall set in the Warwickshire countryside.

Located in Warwickshire is Malvern Hall. Constable's painting of the hall in 1809 is an oil on canvas artwork that measures 51 x 77cm. Malvern Hall was the home of an eccentric patron, Henry Groswolde Lewis. In 1910 George Salting left the painting to the Tate Gallery in London. It is now a part of the Tate collection. Constable stayed at the hall for the first time in 1809 having received a commission from the owner to paint two portraits. During his stay, he painted the landscape scene showing Malvern Hall.

It's thought that he produced the painting for himself rather than as a commission. During his career, Constable also produced two other works that show Malvern Hall. They were Malvern Hall from the South-West in 1809 and Malvern Hall (The view is of the front of the house) in 1820. Looking at the work of art, Malvern Hall is visible from high ground across a stretch of water that runs across the middle of the picture. The view is of the back of the house. While Constable would have seen it as being a landscape, the painting is typical of the tradition for country house portraiture.

It's possible to get an idea of the time of day as the setting sun is casting long shadows across the lawn behind the hall. In the water, there is a reflection of the hall. Looking at the picture, birds are hovering above the cluster of trees on the left of the painting. When it comes to style and inspiration, Constable employed the results of his careful studies of nature in his landscapes. Malvern Hall is typical of many of Constable's other works. In the painting he displays a natural and realistic rendition of the view a person would see looking down on to the back of the hall.