John Constable. Letter to Maria Bicknell (Mrs. Constable). July 12, 1824, mentions that "Johnny [John Dunthorne Jr., Constable's studio assistant] has done a delightfull outline of my Cathedral same size for me to copy," this picture [see Ref. Beckett 1964].
John Constable. Letter to John Fisher. November 12, 1825, offers the bishop a choice between two versions of the composition, one of which may be this canvas, while the other is the work delivered to his widow after his death (The Frick Collection, New York) [see Refs. Beckett 1968 and Parris and Fleming-Williams 1991].
C. J. Holmes. Constable and His Influence on Landscape Painting. Westminster, 1902, pp. 231, 246, reproduces the catalogue of the Constable estate sale of 1838, in which this picture probably figures as no. 30, with the title "Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Garden, 'nearly finished,'" sold to Archbutt for £16.16.0.
Sir Isidore Spielmann Notes on British Section by J. Comyns Carr in Catalogue of the International Fine Arts Exhibition: Souvenir of the British Section. Exh. cat., British Fine Art Palace. Rome, 1911, pp. 106, 108, no. 15, ill.
"The Rome Exhibition: The British and German Pavilions." The Times (May 6, 1911), p. 7, as "one of several versions . . . a little stiff and hard, but important as a lesson to the moderns".
C. Reginald Grundy. "Sir Joseph Beecham's collection at Hampstead: Part I." Connoisseur 35 (February 1913), pp. 73–74, ill., as "a variant from the painting of the same subject now in the South Kensington [V&A] Museum".
H[arry]. B. W[ehle]. "Paintings Lent from the Harkness Collection." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 28 (January 1933), p. 12.
"'Three Hundred Years of Landscape' shown." Art Digest 8 (June 1, 1934), ill. p. 22, as lent to the Museum by Harkness.
Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 29 (May 1934), ill. (cover), as lent to the landscape paintings exhibition by Harkness.
C[harles]. R[obert]. Leslie. Memoirs of the Life of John Constable, R.A. London, 1937, p. 142, mentions our version as in the Beecham collection.
Arnold Palmer. "Survey of British Painting." Carnegie Magazine 12 (May 1938), ill. p. 39, as lent to the Carnegie exhibition by Harkness.
R. B. Beckett. Letter to Elizabeth E. Gardner. December 30, 1950, believes that "it might quite well be lot 30 [of the 1838 Constable estate sale], if you can describe your picture as 'nearly finished,'" and dates it to 1825–26 as "a study or discarded trial for the Frick picture".
John Steegman. "Constable's 'Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Garden'." Art Quarterly 14 (Autumn 1951), pp. 202, 205, fig. 9, concludes that it is not one of the three specifically mentioned in Constable's correspondence; calls it the latest version, painted in or about 1826.
"Illustrations of Outstanding Harkness Gifts." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 10 (October 1951), ill. p. 68.
Art Treasures of the Metropolitan: A Selection from the European and Asiatic Collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1952, p. 231, no. 135, colorpl. 135.
Theodore Rousseau Jr. "A Guide to the Picture Galleries." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 12, part 2 (January 1954), p. 5, ill. p. 46.
R. B. Beckett. Letter. May 1, 1956, calls it "most probably" lot 30 in the 1838 Constable estate sale.
R. B. Beckett. "Constable's "Salisbury Cathedral From the Bishop's Grounds"." Art Quarterly 20 (Summer 1957), pp. 149–50, fig. 2.
A. Hyatt Mayor. "The Gifts that Made the Museum." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 16 (November 1957), p. 106.
Graham Reynolds. Victoria and Albert Museum: Catalogue of the Constable Collection. London, 1960, p. 159, states that it is one of four paintings that could be identifiable with no. 30 in the 1838 sale.
John Constable. "Early Friends and Maria Bicknell (Mrs. Constable)." John Constable's Correspondence. 2, London, 1964, p. 360 n. 2, publishes a letter from Constable to his wife of July 12, 1824, with what he believes to be a reference to this picture [see Ref. Constable 1824].
"The Fishers." John Constable's Correspondence. 6, London, 1968, pp. 206–7, publishes the letter to Constable's friend John Fisher, in which he offers him a choice between two versions of the composition, one of which may be ours [see Ref. Constable 1825].
Carlos Peacock. John Constable: the Man and his Work. rev. ed. London, 1971, pl. 40.
Graham Reynolds. "John Constable: Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Grounds." Masterpieces in the National Gallery of Canada. no. 10, Ottawa, 1977, pp. 28–29, 34, states that this "unfinished version . . . may be his trial run for the picture in the Frick, or intended for yet another commission which did not mature"; notes that it is identified with lot 30 in the 1838 sale.
Robert Hoozee. L'opera completa di Constable. Milan, 1979, p. 151, no. 657, ill., doubts the attribution to Constable.
Charles S. Rhyne. "Constable Drawings and Watercolors in the Collections of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon and The Yale Center for British Art: Part I. Authentic Works." Master Drawings 19 (Summer 1981), p. 139 n. 2, disagrees with Hoozee, calling it "beyond the capacity of anyone but Constable".
Graham Reynolds in A Dealer's Record: Agnew's, 1967–81. London, 1981, p. 141, reaffirms his 1977 opinion [see Ref.].
Graham Reynolds. Constable's England. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1983, pp. 16, 72, 98, 104, 181, no. 34, ill. p. 105 (color), dates it about 1825–26; calls it "a studio sketch" for the Frick picture; and notes that when making the later versions "Constable had some help in laying in the outlines from . . . Dunthorne".
Graham Reynolds. The Later Paintings and Drawings of John Constable. New Haven, 1984, vol. 1, pp. 167, 172–74, no. 26.19; vol. 2, colorpl. 629, calls it "an unfinished version . . . probably a sketch" for the Frick picture; finds Hoozee's doubts to be unfounded; mentions Dunthorne's role.
Sarah Cove in "Constable's Oil Painting Materials and Techniques." Constable. Exh. cat., Tate Gallery. London, 1991, pp. 508, 518 nn. 162–64, states that Dunthorne's pencil outline is visible by infrared reflectography and that x-radiography reveals that it was originally a precise copy of the 1823 picture, probably worked up by Dunthorne and reworked by Constable.
Leslie Parris and Ian Fleming-Williams. Constable. Exh. cat., Tate Gallery. London, 1991, p. 260, believe that Constable's letter to Fisher of November 12, 1825 refers to this picture [see Ref. Constable 1825] while his letter of 1824 refers to the Frick painting [see Ref. Constable 1824].
Katharine Baetjer in Glorious Nature: British Landscape Painting, 1750–1850. Exh. cat., Denver Art Museum. New York, 1993, p. 202, no. 62, ill. p. 203 in color and dust jacket, calls it the last sketch, begun in summer 1824 over Dunthorne's "delightfull outline".
C. R. Leslie. Memoirs of the Life of John Constable. 3rd ed. London, 1995, p. 395.
Susan Grace Galassi Frick Collection. John Constable's Salisbury Cathedral: Two Versions Reunited. [New York], 1999, unpaginated, colorpl. 1, notes that Dunthorne prepared an outline for this and the Frick picture.
Katharine Baetjer in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Chefs-d'œuvre de la peinture européenne. Exh. cat., Fondation Pierre Gianadda. Martigny, 2006, pp. 132–36, no. 23, ill. (color, overall and detail), notes that Constable must have asked Dunthorne to transfer the outline of the cathedral to two canvases, and then "must have worked them up in succession" between late summer 1824, when he began this picture and November 1825, when he finished the Frick picture.
Amy Herman. "Permanent Collection: Constable's Versions of Salisbury Cathedral." The Frick Collection Members' Magazine 7 (fall 2007), p. 12, discusses its role in Constable's development of this subject.
Asher Ethan Miller in Masterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 21, 227, no. 19, ill. (color and black and white).
Katharine Baetjer. British Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1575–1875. New York, 2009, pp. 242–46, no. 117, ill. (color), figs. 169, 170 (infrared reflectogram).
Asher Ethan Miller in Earth, Sea, and Sky: Nature in Western Art; Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. [Tokyo], 2012, pp. 148, 151, 246, no. 92, ill. (color and b&w) [Chinese ed., Hefei Shi, 2013, pp. 202–3, no. 92, ill. (color)].