Arts Documentary hosted by Louise Govier and published by The National Gallery in 2005
For many visitors to the National Gallery John Constable's â€˜Hay Wain' is an established and familiar painting, and it remains one of the most popular in the collection. But when it was first made, this harmonious scene was at the cutting edge of landscape painting.
This film shows how British paintings developed through the eighteenth century, responding to changes in society and the ambitions of painters who wanted to challenge their continental rivals.
It explores the work of William Hogarth, Sir Joshua Reynolds and his rival Thomas Gainsborough, and the paintings of other artists involved in the formation of the Royal Academy of Arts â€“ the organisation whose rules Constable and Turner would eventually break with spectacular results.