John Constable: The Leaping Horse

This publication offers an engaging examination of one of the Royal Academy’s most important treasures, the painting described by Lucian Freud as the greatest painting in the world.

John Constable's masterpiece The Leaping Horse is studied in detail by Richard Humphreys, from preliminary sketches to brand new photography of the painting itself.

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Dimensions 23 x 17cm
Fabric & material Paperback
No. of Pages 96
Medium Print with Book
SKU 02086855

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Product story

Each year between 1819 and 1825, John Constable (1776–1837) submitted a monumental canvas to the Royal Academy of Arts in London for display in the annual Exhibition. These so-called ‘six-footers’ vividly captured the life of the River Stour in Suffolk, where Constable grew up and where he returned to paint each year. 

The Leaping Horse, the last of these and for many years a major work in the collection of the Royal Academy, was later described by Lucian Freud as the greatest painting in the world. Richard Humphreys explores Constable’s often avant-garde working methods, as well as his struggle to gain full acceptance within the art establishment of the early nineteenth century, with reproductions of his full-scale preliminary sketches as well as brand new photography of the painting itself. This book – the latest in the Royal Academy’s studies of its masterworks – is the ideal companion for art lovers who seek a deeper appreciation of Constable’s iconic depictions of the English countryside.

Richard Humphreys is an art historian, curator and writer, who worked for many years at Tate as head of education, curator, academic programmes co-ordinator, and editor. His various exhibitions and books include explorations of British art 1500–2000, British landscape art 1700–1990, Wyndham Lewis and Futurism.

64 pages with 50 colour illustrations.