Constable painted this huge canvas shortly after the death of his wife. John Fisher, the archdeacon of Salisbury cathedral and Constable’s friend, invited him to visit and he began painting to help work through his grief. The future of the Anglican church was also in question at the time and Constable’s emotions on this and his recent bereavement are captured via symbols of hope (light, a rainbow) cutting through the gloomy sky."
Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows
153.7 x 192 cm
Oil on canvas
Date of work
Along with Turner, John Constable is recognized as the greatest English landscape painter of the 19th century. Constable entered the RA schools in 1799 and first exhibited in 1802. He had an eye for the picturesque through studying J. T. Smith and Gainsborough. Born in Suffolk, the son of a miller. He has been characterised as having painted only the places he knew intimately and he continued to paint scenes of Suffolk after he settled in London in 1816."