Loving Landscape at Wivenhoe House

Dust off your paintbrushes, charge up the iPad, sharpen your charcoal, whatever your chosen art form, on Sunday 12 June you can join in the Constable Challenge at Wivenhoe House, Colchester for free.

The grounds of this Grade II listed hotel are being turned over to artists young and old for everyone to create their own landscape masterpiece.  It’s a chance for artistic stardom as all artworks will be considered for an autumn exhibition at the hotel, opening on Sunday 18 September.

This is all part of a year of celebration at Wivenhoe House, marking 200 years since Britain’s much loved landscape artist, John Constable, painted Wivenhoe Park for the estate’s owner, Major General Francis Rebow.

It’s a story of love as Constable took on the commission to earn 100 guineas to prove he was a worthy catch to the father of his fiancée, Maria Bicknell. Constable completed the painting, which now hangs in pride of place at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, in the middle of September 1816 and married Maria on 2 October.

It was an auspicious early work for Constable who went on to create such well known masterpieces as The Haywain and Flatford Mill, two historic paintings which draw people to Dedham Vale every year to see the original settings.

The University of Essex will also be running one of its fantastic free arts outreach events for children at the hotel on the same day from 2pm until 4pm. Places are limited so must be booked in advance.

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