Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Garden

John Constable1826

The Frick Collection

The Frick Collection
New York City, United States

This picture, signed and dated 1826, is a testimony to two of the favorite subjects of early nineteenth-century artists and their patrons—medieval monuments and nature. Through Constable's genius, the two here become, seemingly, one, as the large trees to the right soar upward beyond the limits of the canvas and frame the spire of the great thirteenth-century cathedral as though the same divine force invigorated them all. Salisbury and its cathedral were familiar to John Constable, through his intimate friendship with its bishop, Dr. John Fisher, and his nephew, Archdeacon John Fisher. Constable had painted an earlier version of the south façade of Salisbury, with a dark, cloudy sky, to which the Bishop objected, requesting "a more serene sky." Constable happily painted this second version of 1826, with its sunnier sky and more open composition, even including images of Dr. Fisher and his wife and daughter walking along the path to the left. Today, one probably would not encounter cows grazing around the cathedral, but its park, or "close," can still be recognized.


  • Title: Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Garden
  • Creator: John Constable
  • Creator Lifespan: 1776 - 1837
  • Creator Nationality: English
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Hampstead [Now in London], England
  • Creator Birth Place: East Bergholt, Suffolk, England
  • Date Created: 1826
  • Physical Dimensions: w1123.95 x h889 in
  • Type: painting
  • External Link: See more on The Frick Collection website
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Style: Landscape
  • Provenance: Probably Mrs. Fisher, widow of Bishop Fisher. J. C. Mirehouse or Mrs. Pike-Scrivener. Misses Fanny and Emma Mirehouse. Sold to Agnew in 1894. Sold by him to Stephen G. Holland. His sale, June 25-26, 1908, Christie's, Lot 12, sold for £8,190 to Knoedler. Frick, 1908. Source: Paintings in The Frick Collection: American, British, Dutch, Flemish and German. Volume I. New York: The Frick Collection, 1968.
  • Painter: John Constable
  • Original Title: Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Garden
  • Credit Line: Henry Clay Frick Bequest

Additional Items

Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Garden (Supplemental)

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