This is a very interesting work by the great British Romantic painter John Constable. He painted the coast of the city of Brighton on numerous occasions, and among all these images, the one made in 1824 in oil and on paper stands out, and which is currently preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Constable's Brighton Beach
And the interest of that image lies in the fact that he made it in a few years in which he was going to face what he himself called “the chiaroscuro of nature”. In other words, it aims to capture all the plays of light and color reflections in the shadow areas.
At the same time Constable's way of painting, unlike previous works like Weymouth Bay, is faster and more immediate. And he gradually uses the palette knife more and more to extend the colors in a frantic way at times, which at the same time helps him to rework the surface that he represents of each element.
This progressive use of the palette knife to the detriment of brushes is very important for the evolution of styles in the history of art, since it is a way of working that not only influenced his contemporaries, but also it was also admired by later generations, especially the Impressionist painters. A work process that results in being able to mix andmerge the matter of water with that of the sky, and if necessary unite trees with meadows and sky.
For this type of representation, without a doubt, seascapes become an ideal type of image. Some seascapes in which it is common for me to use tremendously low horizons, turning the immense skies into the great protagonists, given the percentage of fabric used for them. And on the other hand, the sky serves to mix colors in a very interesting way.
These sets of colors bring ambient light to the whole scene, and for example here no one doubts that there are clouds on the horizon that threaten rain to walkers on the beach.
Although the truth is that Constable is capable of giving us views as he is using two colors fundamentally. On the one hand the ocher on the shore, and on the other the blue for the sea and the sky, and playing with the brushstrokes of white and yellow.