“I have done a good deal of skying. I am determined to conquer all difficulties and that most arduous one among the rest.”
- John Constable
John Constable's Skies A Fusion of Art and Science By: John E. Thornes
It was Constable's willingness to invest time in understanding meteorological theory as well as in sketching the sky that led to him mastering the art of painting skies. He successfully turned art theory' on its head and showed that the sky is the ‘key note’, the ‘standard of scale’ and the ‘chief organ of sentiment’ in a landscape painting.
The hypothesis to be tested was that a knowledge of meteorological science enabled Constable to significantly improve his art. This is contentious ground. The relationship between art and science at the beginning of the nineteenth century has received increasing attention in recent years, but this debate is still relatively young.
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