Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows

An unexpected bonus on the recent trip to Pembrokeshire was seeing the John Constable painting ‘Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows’. It was on display in the visitor centre at St Davids. In 2013 the painting was secured for the nation through a partnership of organisations including the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund, the Wolfson Foundation, The Manton Foundation and the Tate.

Salisbury Cathedral
The painting shows a turbulent sky and a rainbow above the cathedral, with horses and a cart crossing the River Avon

Via Wikipedia “Possible political meanings have been attributed to it, one of which being the clash of industrialization and nature represented through the clash of elements.

Some symbolism in this painting includes:

  • Grave marker: symbol of death
  • Ash tree: symbol of life
  • Church: symbol of faith and resurrection
  • Rainbow: symbol of renewed optimism”

During the 1990s a battle raged over the location of the controversial Salisbury bypass which would have impacted on the water meadows. In 1997 the Labour government abandoned the scheme but as with all proposed road schemes it might again reappear as the congestion in Salisbury still remains.


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