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ID number:  BIRBI-94.1
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Lucas, David (1802-1881)
Title / Object name:  The lock
Object type:  Print
Culture:  British
Date made:  1834
Materials:  Mezzotint
Provenance:  Purchased from Christopher Mendez, London, March 1994

A man strains to operate an old weather-beaten lock while a barge waits for the water to drop before continuing downstream. Constable’s landscape depicts a rural idyll at odds with the industrialisation of the cities and modernisation of the countryside. He chose to represent this lock at Flatford Mill in Suffolk as it had been during his childhood. Rural life is presented as nostalgic and romantic in contrast to its often harsh realities, with figures and environment in a harmonious relationship.

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