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Constable's Skies (Victoria and Albert Museum)

Paintings and Sketches by John Constable

Mark Evans


A beautifully designed gift book devoted to John Constable’s studies of skies

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John Constable is one of the greatest painters of the English weather. His depictions of the sky are essential components of all his landscape paintings, from famous works such as The Hay Wain and Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows to his numerous cloud studies painted on Hampstead Heath, culminating in paintings in which the landscape beneath the ever-changing sky is completely absent. Written by Mark Evans, a leading authority on the work of John Constable, Constable’s Skies captures the artist’s fascination with the sky and brings together his depictions of the English weather from throughout his career.

Constable kept a weather diary and was endlessly fascinated by the sky. In a letter written in 1821 to his friend John Fisher, Bishop of Salisbury, Constable commented, ‘That landscape painter who does not make his skies a very material part of his composition, neglects to avail himself of one of his greatest aids … It will be difficult to name a class of landscape in which the sky is not the key note, the standard of scale, and the chief organ of sentiment.’

Constable's Skies will appeal to a broad readership of museum visitors and art lovers, as well as practising landscape painters keen to learn new skills by studying the work of one of the most enduringly popular English artists of all time.

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'An inspiring read'
The Lady

'There is plenty here to delight'
Mature Times

'Collates the artist's cloud studies with the weather reports for the day they were done … The effect is like a time machine'
The Spectator

People’s Friend

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Quarterbound/PLC (no jacket)

Size: 19.0 x 17.0 cm

Extent: 144 pp

Illustrations: 112

Publication date: 26 July 2018

ISBN: 9780500480328

Contents List

Preface • Introduction • Plates • Endnotes

About the Author

Dr Mark Evans is Head of Paintings in the Department of Word and Image at the Victoria and Albert Museum.