Constable and Brighton

This exhibition has now closed.

8 April 2017 to 8 October 2017

This exhibition at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery explores John Constable’s time in the fashionable seaside resort, where he stayed with his family between 1824 and 1828.

Working between Brighton and London, Constable produced around 150 works in the town.  Some were commissions, created in his ‘painting room’ and usually destined for the French market, but his long, systematic walks in and around Brighton also prompted many other works.

Admission Information

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John Constable, R.A. (1776-1837), Seascape Study: Boat and Stormy Sky, ca. 1824-1828. Copyright Royal Academy of Arts, London; Photographer: John Hammond

The exhibition brings together over 60 of the artist’s sketches, drawings and paintings from his time in Brighton for the first time, in the place where they were created.  Focusing on his family life and walks, it explores the impact and influence of the work he made here; as well as the working practices he developed and the locations and people who inspired him.

Highlights include:

  • Chain Pier, Brighton (1826–7, Tate ), a fine oil painting featuring the early Brighton landmark which was swept away in 1896, in its first exhibition in the city for 20 years.
  • Rainstorm over the Sea (c. 1824-28, Royal Academy of Arts ), a passionate, early impressionistic oil sketch seemingly influenced by Maria’s illness.
  • A Windmill near Brighton (1824, Tate), a jewel-like pastoral scene of a sun-drenched windmill typical of the Sussex countryside in Constable’s time.
  • The artist’s painting box, and his children’s toy stagecoach.
  • The gold medal Constable won for his celebrated painting The Hay Wain, when it was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1824 (having been shown at the Royal Academy in 1821).

Constable and Brighton is curated by Brighton artist Peter Harrap, in consultation with renowned Constable expert Anne Lyles (formerly of Tate) and with support from researcher Shan Lancaster.

Constable and Brighton forms part of the Royal Pavilion & Museums’ Regency Season in 2017, which also includes Jane Austen by the Sea at the Royal Pavilion and Visions of the Royal Pavilion Estate at Brighton Museum.

Brighton Museum admission charge payable

Also in our Regency Season

Visions of the Royal Pavilion Estate – Brighton Museum

Jane Austen by the Sea – Royal Pavilion

Constable’s Walks

Visitors can also follow in Constable’s footsteps with one of our free self guided walks. Pick one up at the museum or find out more about the Constable walks here:

In Constable’s Footsteps – City Walk

In Constable’s Footsteps – Explorer Walk 

Constable Talks

Join us for a closer look at the exhibition with one of our gallery talks or tours.

25 August Nature and the individual in Romantic art  

9 September Colour in Constable’s time

14 September The Great Gig in the Sky: clouds, wind and water in Romantic art

21 September John and Maria Constable in Brighton

28 September Healthwalk: In Constable’s Footsteps

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