Cloud Study with verses from Bloomfield 1830s1830s by John Constable

Born at Honington in Suffolk, Robert Bloomfield (1766-1823) was one of the self-taught ‘peasant poets’ of the 19th century. Today his verse is all but forgotten, but in his own time he was very popular. His long poem, The Farmer’s Boy 1800, sold over 25,000 copies in three years.

Constable greatly admired Bloomfield’s verse, and quoted lines from The Farmer’s Boy when he exhibited ploughing and reaping subjects in 1814 and 1817. Here he has transcribed a section from the poem - lines from Winter describing swiftly-moving clouds - and appended an illustration.
Gallery label, February 2004

Once thought to be possibly by Constable himself, the verses inscribed below the drawing were identified by Michael Rosenthal in 1973 as lines 245–62 of ‘Winter’ in Robert Bloomfield's The Farmer's Boy (first published 1800). Constable's transcript, which does not depart significantly from the printed...
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Media: ink on paper
Dimensions (h/w/d): 13 8 (34 21)