Samuel Palmer

From Academic Kids

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Samuel_Palmer_002.jpg
Garden in Shoreham. 1820s or early 1830s.
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Palmer._A_Cornfield_by_Moonlight_with_the_Evening_Star._Watercolour_with_bodycolour_and_pen_and_ink_c.1830..jpg
A Cornfield by Moonlight with the Evening Star. Watercolour with bodycolour and pen and ink c.1830
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Palmer._A_Dream_in_the_Appenine_c.1864_(watercolor_and_gouache_on_paper_laid_on_wood)_Tate_Britain.jpg
A Dream in the Appenine (c.1864).

Samuel Palmer (born Newington, London, January 27 1805 - died Redhill, Surrey, May 24 1881) was an English landscape painter, etcher and printmaker. Palmer was a key figure in English romantic art and produced nostalgic pastoral paintings.

Born in London, the son of a bookseller, Palmer painted from an early age, first exhibiting Turner-inspired works at the Royal Academy at the age of fourteen. He had little formal training. His early works were landscapes of northern Kent, which he presented as a paradise, mysterious and visionary, and often shown in sepia shades under moon and star light. Through John Linnell, he met William Blake in 1824. Blake's influence can been seen in the works he produced over the next ten years or so, which are generally reckoned to be his greatest. These landscapes were produced in Shoreham in Kent, where Palmer lived from 1826 to 1835. There Palmer associated with the group of Blake-influenced artists known as "The Ancients" (including George Richmond and Edward Calvert).

After returning to London in 1835, Palmer's work became less mystical and more conventional. He had been disillusioned by the rural discontent of the early 1830s, and decided that he needed to produce work which was more in line with public taste if he was to earn an income. In 1837 he embarked on a two year honeymoon to Italy, where his palette became brighter, sometimes to the point of garishness. On his return to London Palmer sought patrons with limited success, and was sometimes obliged to work as a drawing master. His best late works include a series of large watercolours illustrating Milton's poems L’allegro and Il penseroso and his etchings, a medium in which he worked from 1850 onwards, including a set illustrating Virgil.

Palmer lived in Redhill from 1862. He was largely forgotten until being rediscovered in the mid 20th century. His reputation rests mainly on his Shoreham work, but some of his later work has recently received more appreciation.

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