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Salisbury Cathedral - John Constable. 87.9x111.8
Constable, the first of the great English landscape painters of the 19th century, is a singer of heaven and clouds, of English plains with green pastures filled with air and silence, animated by the vital energy of nature. The idea of a true landscape, as close as possible to the original, persistently returned the artist to the same landscapes or architectural monuments (this anticipated a similar attitude to the nature of Monet and Cezanne).
John Constable believed that a true master of landscape should be a humble student of nature. Opponent of academic painting, he comprehended the light and color laws of its image and long before the Impressionists sought to express the “first impression” of the landscape seen. The constable was not interested in other parts of the world, did not go on trips abroad, he painted his "old, green England."
Salisbury Cathedral is depicted in the gap between trees, the autumn foliage of which is painted with light, almost transparent strokes. Cows drinking from a small lake in the foreground bring a pastoral shade to the picture. On the left, the master placed a strolling couple - Bishop Salisbury Fisher and his wife, who, standing under the canopy of trees, are looking at the cathedral. The building against the sky with flying clouds looks especially light, filled with sun and air, and its view in the frame of the trees attracts the eye even more.
In the years 1820-1830. Constable often visited Salisbury Cathedralmaking a sketch for a sketch of a monument of the 13th century, choosing different angles and weather conditions. In 1822, Bishop Fisher ordered the artist a picture, but accepted the work not too favorably because of the stormy sky. The constable wrote a new version, and the canvas presented here is a sketch for it. The vibrating silver light scattered in the sky is reflected in the surrounding landscape. The sun's rays illuminate the cathedral, creating a wonderful harmony in which nature and man-made work of man seem to be one.
The people depicted on the canvas on the left - Bishop John Fisher with his wife. Spouses are placed in the same place as on the canvas, which did not like Fisher.
In this work, the artist unobtrusively compares nature and architecture, as if to say: the creation of human hands must be balanced and verified in all its parts, only then it will be aesthetically attractive, and the tree, even disheveled, with dry and broken branches - is still beautiful.