John Constable - Salisbury Cathedral from Lower March Close 
Constable frequently depicted Salisbury’s famous spire, which, at 404 feet, is the tallest in England. Piercing the air, the lofty steeple attracts attention to the atmosphere around it. One of Constable’s main interests was portraying the weather, a process he called skying.
When the Gothic cathedral was finished in the 1300s, its grounds were walled or enclosed; this Close forms a lush, marshy park. The couple strolling through the Close’s avenue of elms may be John Fisher, the Archbishop of Salisbury, and his wife. Their nephew, an archdeacon and art patron, was Constable’s closest friend. This personal souvenir, kept by the artist, freshly observes the sunshine dappling the lawn. With long shadows falling from the west, the time is early evening. The canvas was executed spontaneously on the spot, and its brown under-painted layer is still visible beneath the trees.