John Constable's Touching Love Story

Last Updated on May 24, 2022 by

John Constable was an English painter who primarily loved working in the genre of landscape painting. Painter John Constable gave British art so much to cherish, but he always lacked in the financial forefront. 

This was one reason that deeply caused the bumps in the road of his marriage with the love of her life—struggling with so many hardships and having a tough time living in a seven-year secret relationship. Nevertheless, the couple managed to get into the marriage even after much disapproval. 

Tap into this lucrative segment to learn about John Constable and the mesmerizing relationship he had in his life. It is a beautiful narration worthy enough to make a cinematic love story out of it. 

The Disapproval 

Maria Buckner was the dream girl of John Constable’s life. John first met Maria when she visited her maternal grandfather, Rev Dr. Durrande Rhudde, a rector in East Bergholt. He was a wealthy and irascible man with an unparalleled enigma. 

The couple met again when Maria was in her early twenties and started to believe that they would marry someday. It was not a fling but a severe affair from both ends. But, Maria’s grandfather had other plans for her and kept trying to thwart their marriage plans. 

Maria’s grandfather disapproves of her courtship concerning an argument with John’s father in the past. He was confident that John was an appropriate match for Maria and incapable of earning enough capital to give Maria a decent life. John received only £100 yearly from his father, except that he had no active income to support himself. 

After opposition was proposed by Maria’s grandfather, her father, Charles Bicknell, also followed his lead. At the same time, Ann Constable tried to amend matters with Rhudde by finding ways to change their mindset. He even gifted a painting of East Bergholt Church painted by John Constable. However, in turn, the rector sent John a £5 note as a payment and an indication of not accepting any toucan of present from him.

An Undying Affair

Even after so many hardships and obstacles, both John and Maria continued to progress in their love life. She became John’s muse for seven years and continued to be in courtship with him. But, with so much happening with secrecy and strain of separation, their personality of John kept on degrading the worldly people. 

He was often personified as moody, sarcastic, and hostile at the professional level. Because of it no one wished to purchase them. However, after his father’s death, he got to know about the unusual revelations he made to ensure that all his children should be benefited from financial support. 

He bestowed John with an income of £200 per year, and a handsome share from his property was automatically named after him. A legal arrangement was also made under the name of his youngest brother Abram. In which he was entitled to manage the family and carry forward the business to care for his brothers and sisters. 

The Marriage 

After his father’s death, John had great money to marry the love of his life. He and Maria decided to give their relationship a social status and get married. They both married against the wishes of Maria’s father and grandfather in 1916 in London

As soon as Maria and John were tied into the pious marriage bond, her grandfather disinherited Maria from their family and legal belongings. But, her father, Charles Bicknell, somehow softened and gave them an allowance of £50 per year. Later on, when her grandfather died in 1819, he left all his grandchildren, including Maria, £4,000 each as their share of the family legacy. 

As the marriage course went forward, the couple was blessed with seven youthful children. Maria even had a miscarriage in 12 years of their marriage. Nevertheless, by 1824, she was a mother of four children, John, Minna, Isabel, and Charley. 

Apart from suffering from tuberculosis, she gave birth to three more children Emily, Alfie, and Lionel. She passed away at the age of 41 in November 1841, days after her youngest was born.

John Constable and His Children 

Maria’s early death was a shocking and hard-to-live truth for John. He became a lone parent who was responsible for raising all his children by himself. All his children lie in the age bracket of zero to eleven. But, he loved them all deeply and was constantly worried about their health and education. 

The eldest daughter of the couple, Maria Louisa (Minna), stepped into the shoes of her later mother. She took the responsibility of helping his father and her nanny Mrs. Robert to help the family. Alfie and Lionel were the youngest, who barely even remembered their mother. 

The youngest son John Charles suffered from ill health since childhood and died at the age of 24 due to scarlet fever. Emily was born prematurely and left the family at 14 due to scarlet fever. Alfred had a boating accident at the age of 27 and died due to it. Charley was the only son who got married and established a livelihood of his own.

The Bottom Line

Coming from different financial backgrounds, John and Maria went into a fruitful relationship. But, both of them were stern enough to continue loving each other and eventually married. It was their fate that Maria died young, but John also took up the responsibility of the seven young children that were a symbol of their undying love. Know more about John Constable’s paintings that tell his story better than words ever could. 

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