By the early nineteenth century the open landscape of Hampstead Heath, north of London, was increasingly appreciated as a refuge from the ever more crowded and polluted city. This is one of many views
of the Heath that Constable painted.
His picture revels in the wildness of the landscape, both in the choice of scene and in the freedom of his painting style.
It was created for his friend, the actor
Jack Bannister, who, the artist reported, wanted a landscape in which he could 'feel the wind blowing on his face'.