Weymouth Bay with Approaching Storm John Constable Buy Art Prints Now
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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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This Constable painting depicting Weymouth Bay with Approaching Storm, is situated in the Louvre at Paris. The painting was created in 1818, and cover's the same landscape as his earlier painting Weymouth Bay: Bowleaze Cove and Jordon Hill, but in a very different light. The painting is an oil on canvas with dimensions of 88x 112cm, and was created around 1818.

In this painting, the view is from beneath the chalk cliffs at Osmington, looking down Weymouth Bay towards Greenhill and Weymouth, but Greenhill and Weymouth are blotted out by low cloud. In the foreground on the rocks and beach, a few people are out despite the approaching storm, one at least is gathering something, shells or razorfish perhaps, and there is a small wooden rowing boat upturned against a rock and there is possibly another at the edge of the sea, while on the sea, close to shore, there is a small vessel, maybe a fishing boat. Over by the Jordon river as it runs to the sea, shapes of a shepherd and his dog, moving a flock of sheep are just visible.

Jordon Hill is reflecting light on the short grass at the base, but higher up it is shadowed by the storm clouds and rain. Past the hill the beach disappears into the low cloud and rain. The sea is moody and with surf towards the shore. Above the scene and especially above the sea, the dark and threatening clouds swirl.

The painting has a lovely contrast of light and dark, with the rocks and cliff in the foreground and the strip of beach fairly light, the sand a very pale gold, and also some light on the lower part of the hill, while to the left the sea is dark and moody, and ahead on the hill and towards Weymouth, the dark of the storm clouds are reflected. The dark of the sea and sky meet on the left, with the light on the right giving meaning to the approaching storm. The piece, Weymouth Bay with Approaching Storm, is very atmospheric, as it was designed to be.