The area of Dedham Vale in Suffolk is known as 'Constable Country'. Flatford Mill, the subject of one of his most famous paintings, was owned by his father, a brewer who was doing well in trade. Nearby Bridge Cottage is a National Trust property.
He fell in love with Maria Bicknell, a local girl whose solicitor father was personally acquainted with the king, and did not consider Constable good enough. After five years, he finally gave his consent to the marriage in 1816. After giving birth to seven children, Maria died of consumption (tuberculosis) in 1829, an event which devastated her husband.
See also: English school of painting