Flatford Mill from the Lock

The first in a series of studies, this work depicts the mill on the River Stour that was owned by Constable’s father. The figure of the lockkeeper leaning over the lock gate emphasizes the importance of the river as a transportation route. In the last and most finished canvas of the series, Constable reduced the prominence of the mill and replaced the lockkeeper with a fisherman, making the painting a rustic scene rather than an image of labor and commerce.


Ella D. Constable, the artist’s granddaughter, by descent; [Spink, London, sold to the Duke of Westminster]; Gerald Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster (1983–at least 1996); [Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox, London, sold to Manton 20 Apr. 2002]; Sir Edwin A. G. Manton, New York (2002– d. 2005); Manton Family Art Foundation (2005–2007, given to the Clark); Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 2007.

John Constable

English, 1776–1837

Flatford Mill from the Lock

c. 1810

Oil on beige laid (?) paper, mounted on canvas

7 1/2 x 9 1/2 in. (19 x 24.1 cm)

Gift of the Manton Art Foundation in memory of Sir Edwin and Lady Manton, 2007




Lees, Sarah, ed. Nineteenth-Century European Paintings at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute; New Haven and London: distributed by Yale University Press, 2012.

Clarke, Jay, ed. Landscape, Innovation, and Nostalgia: The Manton Collection of British Art. Williamstown, MA: The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 2012.