When John Constable fell in love with Maria Bicknell, granddaughter of a Suffolk country neighbour, he little knew how long it would take to make her his wife. The impediment to their marriage was simple: ‘that necessary article, cash’.
He was a painter without sufficient funds to support the daughter of a prominent London lawyer, and both he and her formidable grandfather disapproved of the match. It would be seven long, difficult years before they could marry, but in that time he would become one of the greatest painters of the nineteenth century.
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