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Dedham Mill, like that at Flatford, was owned and operated by Constable’s father. This sketch of it, showing Dedham church to the right, was probably painted on the spot during Constable’s long holiday with his wife Maria in Suffolk in 1817.

As it is unfinished, this work is particularly interesting in revealing Constable’s working methods at this date. Although some passages are painted in remarkable detail, other areas are only broadly blocked in, and much of the brown canvas ground is visible in the foreground and close to the trees on the right.

August 2004