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"Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Grounds", Oil by John Constable (1776-1837, United Kingdom)
Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Grounds is an 1823 painting by the landscape painter John Constable. This timeless image of England's most famous medieval church is one his most celebrated works, and was commissioned by one of his closest friends, John Fisher, The Bishop of Salisbury. The artist selected a viewpoint from the bishop's garden and included figures of Dr. Fisher and his wife at the bottom left. The painting embodies the full range of qualities of a quintessentially British landscape painting – the clouds, trees, a water meadow, cattle drinking at the edge of the pasture and the glorious architecture of a medieval cathedral – but all on a human scale. Paintings like this one have so conditioned our view of rural Britain that it is now difficult to imagine a time when the countryside and country life were not held in such high regard.