Unveiling of commemorative board in Gillingham marks the bi-centenary of John Constable’s visits


In 1811 Dr John Fisher introduced his nephew, John Fisher, to Constable. The younger Fisher became the artist’s closest friend, providing moral and financial support whenever they were needed and often purchasing works from Constable which he could ill afford.

Gillingham mayor Barry Von Clemens and artist and sculptor Sasha Constable, descendent of John Constable, unveil the new board

In 1819 Fisher became Vicar of Gillingham in Dorset and Constable was invited to stay there in 1820 and again in 1823.
During these visits, he made sketches around the town and completed two known works in oils. The Bridge at Gillingham, of the bridge with the village church beyond, was painted during his second visit and is now housed in the Tate Gallery, London. Parham’s Mill, the second painting, is housed at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.
Fisher’s son Osmond later recalled seeing Constable ‘sitting with his easel in the meadow at the right hand corner’.
Gillingham Town Council has commemorated the bicentenary of its connection with John Constable by unveiling a new information board at Gillingham Town Meadow, close to the river and the bridge, which tells the story of the two famous paintings and Constable’s connection with Fisher and the town.

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