Constable’s ‘troubled’ Salisbury Cathedral on display in Guildhall Art Gallery’s 'Victorian Landscapes'

John Constable’s oil sketch for Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows, 1829–31 is one of 10 beautiful works of art featured in Victorian Landscapes at Guildhall Art Gallery.

The painting by the best-known proponent of the English landscape takes centre-stage in the art gallery’s Temple Room for the display, which runs until early May.

Revealing the artist’s vigorous handling of paint, and the energy and commitment which characterised his work, the mood is troubled and stormy, and may be related to Constable’s own emotional state in the wake of his wife’s death the previous year.

Other paintings on display include: Echoes of a Far-Off Storm, 1890 by John Brett; Triassic Cliffs, Blue Anchor, North Somerset, 1866 by Edward William Cooke RA; and The Church at Betwys-y-Coed, 1863 by Benjamin Williams Leader.

Graham Packham, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee, said:

“Victorian Landscapes brings together some wonderful paintings in one of the art gallery’s intimate spaces, and I am sure that visitors will enjoy this selection drawn from the City of London Corporation’s extensive collections.”

British landscape art developed primarily in the eighteenth century, influenced by earlier Dutch and Flemish traditions which focused on detailed, realistic topographical depictions.

Though initially considered a lowly subject, the genre became increasingly highly-regarded, and the nineteenth century saw a golden age of European landscape painting.

Throughout the 1800s, British landscape artists were working in oils with a greater range of pigments than ever, using a wide range of techniques and styles to produce sophisticated visions of the world around them.

The City of London Corporation, which owns and manages Guildhall Art Gallery, invests over £100m every year in heritage and cultural activities of all kinds. It is the UK’s largest funder of cultural activities after the government, the BBC, and Heritage Lottery Fund. It is also developing Culture Mile between Farringdon and Moorgate – a multi-million-pound investment which will create a new cultural and creative destination for London over the next 10 to 15 years. This includes £110m funding to support the Museum of London’s move to West Smithfield and £2.5m to support the detailed business case for the proposed Centre for Music.


For further information and images, please contact:

Andrew Buckingham, Media Officer, City of London Corporation

Tel: 020 7332 1452 / Mob: 07795 333060 / Email

Notes to editors

  1. About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, the 'Square Mile'. In addition, the City Corporation has three roles:

  • We support London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration, education and skills. In addition, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, makes grants of around £20 million annually to tackle disadvantage across London.
  • We also help look after key London heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, the Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important commons in London.
  • We also support and promote the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events and research-driven policies, all reflecting a long-term approach.

See for more details.

About Guildhall Art Gallery

· Guildhall Art Gallery was established in 1886 as 'a Collection of Art Treasures worthy of the capital city'.

· See works dating from 1670 to the present, including seventeenth century portraits, Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces and a fascinating range of paintings documenting London's dramatic history.

· General admission to Guildhall Art Gallery is FREE; however, an entrance fee may be charged for some exhibitions, with concessionary rates for senior citizens, registered unemployed and registered disabled.

· Opening times: 10am - 5pm (Monday – Saturday), 12pm - 4pm (Sunday)