DETAIL: John CONSTABLE,  Great Britain 1776 � 1837  'Harwich Lighthouse' c.1820 oil on canvas Tate, London, gift of Maria Louisa Constable, Isabel Constable and Lionel Bicknell Constable in 1888 Tate, London 2005
John CONSTABLE | Old Sarum at noon

Great Britain 1776 – 1837
Old Sarum at noon 20 July 1829
22.9 (h) x 33.7 (w) cm
inscribed and dated 'July 20th. 1829. noon. Old Sarum' lower left
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
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Constable visited the Fishers regularly at Salisbury, at which times  he made a number of drawings of the ancient mound of Old Sarum. After the death of his wife Maria in 1828, Constable saw even more of his friend John Fisher, who provided him with support at this difficult time. In July 1829 Constable and his two eldest children, John and Minna, spent three weeks with Fisher and his wife Mary in Salisbury Close;  and in November he returned to Salisbury to collect Minna who had stayed on after the summer. Constable made this drawing during his July visit. He gave it a pastoral atmosphere by depicting a shepherd with  his flock in the foreground, before an open plain and the mound of  Old Sarum.

Constable also painted an oil sketch of this subject in 1829 (Victoria and Albert Museum, London) in which he adopted a similar aspect. Lucas used this oil sketch as a basis for the first of two mezzotints of Old Sarum  ).

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