• This view beyond trees of the square tower of All Saints’ Parish Church at Fulham was taken from the south bank of the Thames, a little way upstream from Putney Bridge and Fulham Palace, the summer residence of the Bishop of London, and a little way downstream from Hammersmith. At that reach of the Thames, and in this position, the viewer’s eye is, in fact, directed due east, and the position of a partially obscured sun indicates that the time of day is therefore morning. On September 8, Constable made the trip from London to Putney Heath to visit his wife, Maria, who had been staying with her sister, Louisa Bicknell. Several other drawings he made on the same day are known, including a view of the semaphore on Putney Heath (The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge), a windmill at Barnes (private collection), and a view of Richmond Bridge, farther upstream, that Constable drew the next day (September 9). All of them appear to have been removed from the same sketchbook, and all amply demonstrate the mastery with which Constable extracted atmospheric and textural effects of astounding subtlety from the medium of lead pencil, unembellished with ink, wash, or any other addition or effect.
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  • Fulham Church from across the River