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.
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.
I enjoy a bit of art history. Thanks.
Salisbury is still afflicted by traffic congestion. For locals it can be avoided simply by not going into Salisbury (especially on a Tuesday) to join the traffic that doesn’t actually want to go to Salisbury at all but is just en route to everywhere else from the south coast ports. Shopping is most easily done at Amazon in Dunfermline.
Recent local opposition successfully blocked Sainsbury from building a new supermarket on the A36, at the Avon-Bourne confluence next to the “Tesco” roundabout that causes much of the traffic gridlock. However I suspect that prevailing economic conditions had a lot to do with Sainsbury’s decision – whatever. The question remains whether the scheme is dead or merely hibernating. The current fight is to stop the Longford Estate and St Nicholas Hospital (a charity) developing part of the functioning flood meadow system for housing at the East Harnham – Britford area.
Thank you for the update