Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Grounds

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Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Grounds
Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Garden
John Constable 017.jpg
ArtistJohn Constable Edit this on Wikidata
Mediumoil paint, canvas
Dimensions87.6 cm (34.5 in) × 111.8 cm (44.0 in)
LocationVictoria and Albert Museum, United Kingdom Edit this at Wikidata
IdentifiersArt UK artwork ID: salisbury-cathedral-from-the-bishops-grounds-30870

Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Grounds is an 1823 landscape painting by the nineteenth-century landscape painter John Constable (1776–1837). This image of Salisbury Cathedral, one of England's most famous medieval churches, is one of his most celebrated works, and was commissioned by one of his closest friends, John Fisher, The Bishop of Salisbury.[1]

Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Grounds
John Constable - Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Garden - Google Art Project.jpg
ArtistJohn Constable
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions88.9 cm × 112.4 cm (35.0 in × 44.3 in)
LocationFrick Collection, New York

Constable visited Salisbury in 1820 and made a series of oil sketches of the cathedral, which served as the model for this composition. The artist selected a viewpoint from the bishop's garden and included figures of Dr. Fisher and his wife at the bottom left. Following its exhibition at the 1823 Royal Academy, Constable observed: "My Cathedral looks very well....It was the most difficult subject in Landscape I ever had upon my Easel. I have not flinched at the work of the windows, buttresses, &c. – but I have as usual made my escape in the Evanescence of the Chiaro-Oscuro". His patron took exception to the dark cloud over the cathedral, and when he commissioned a smaller replica, requested "a more serene sky".

A version of the painting also resides at the Frick Collection in New York City. It is slightly different in that it shows different weather and hence light. Whereas the London version depicts the cathedral with an overcast sky, the version in the Frick shows the cathedral with a clear, bright sky. A full-scale study for the Frick version is currently held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.[2]

A small version of the painting resides at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. John Fisher gave it to his daughter as a wedding present.

Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Grounds, 1821–22, 89 cm × 114 cm (35 in × 45 in), São Paulo Museum of Art.

There is an earlier, homonymous version (1821-1822) of this painting at São Paulo Museum of Art in São Paulo.[3] It is said that Fisher, seeing its sombre and grave colors, disliked it and asked for a happier, lighter one.

One of the oil sketches made in 1820 resides at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.[4]

See also[edit]


  • Jackson, Anna (ed.) (2001). V&A: A Hundred Highlights. V&A Publications.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)


External links[edit]