Cloud Studies

drawing of clouds

John Constable (1776–1837)
Cloud Studies, ca. 1822
Oil on paper, laid down on board
11 1/2 × 19 in. (29.2 × 48.3 cm)
Bequest of Henrietta E. S. Lockwood in memory of her father and mother, Ellery Sedgwick and Mabel Cabot Sedgwick, 2000
Photo Michael Bodycomb


Charles Ryskamp was instrumental in bringing this pair of oil sketches into the permanent collection in 2000. The works belong to a group of plein-air studies of clouds painted by Constable over a series of summers in Hampstead, an area in north London. These spontaneous yet keenly observed views of atmospheric conditions, here ranging from calm to threatening, informed the artist's highly finished studio paintings, such as Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Garden (1826), on view in the Library.

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