After 1819 Constable, one of the leading English landscape painters of his day, used to spend the summers in Hampstead. He later moved there altogether. In Hampstead he produced numerous landscape and cloud studies that are fascinating for their lively perception of atmospheric conditions and for their spontaneous, infinitely subtle painterly technique. The admiral’s house is romantically secluded among trees and shrubs, and touched by an uneasy light. The building itself combines the characteristic shape of English chimney stacks with an unusual flat roof that the admiral had had put on a few years previously. The house succumbs to the superior power of nature, as do the small accessory figures in the foreground. The force of the elements, the light, and even the damp breeze following a passing shower are palpable. The intensity of Constable’s observation of nature readily identifies him as a precursor of the plein air painters. In this work he goes beyond the mere depiction of light effects, bringing to life the movement and texture of the clouds, the wind, and the damp air.