John Constable's Skies: A Fusion of Art and Science
John Constable is arguably the most accomplished painter of English skies and weather of all time. For Constable, the sky was the keynote, the ... Show synopsis John Constable is arguably the most accomplished painter of English skies and weather of all time. For Constable, the sky was the keynote, the standard of scale and the chief organ of sentiment in a landscape painting. But how far did he understand the workings of the forces of nature which created his favourite cumulus clouds, portrayed in so many of his skies over the landscapes of Hampstead Heath, Salisbury and Suffolk? And were the skies he painted scientifically accurate? In this lucid and accessible study, John Thornes provides a meteorological framework for reading the skies of landscape art, compares Constable's skies to those produced by other artists from the middle ages to the nineteenth century, analyses Constable's own meteorological understanding, and examines the development of his painted skies. In so doing he provides fresh evidence to identify the year of painting of some of Constable's previously undated cloud studies.