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John Constable was born June 11, 1776, in East Bergholt, Suffolk. His father was a wealthy corn merchant. Constable was educated at Dedham Grammar School, and after he left school he worked in his father's business. His heart was not in it, however, and in 1799 he induced his father to send him to the Royal Academy in London to study art.

In 1816 Constable became financially secure with money left to him when his father died. He married Maria Bicknell despite the opposition of her family. The couple were happy together, and Constable was plunged into depression on her death in 1828.

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