Collection Highlights: Western Art
Samuel Palmer (1805–81): The valley thick with corn
Pen and dark brown ink, brush with sepia mixed with gum on paper, 18.2 x 27.5 cm. Signed and dated 1825, from early in the young artist’s ‘visionary Shoreham period’.
From the mid 1820s to the mid 1830s, Samuel Palmer produced a range of landscapes in a technique peculiar to him, creating landscapes from the Kentish countryside round the little village of Shoreham, a vision of pastoral luxuriance and abundance. It is far from a literal description, but transposed into what Palmer called ‘the ponderous globosity of art'; in mood it is reminiscent of Blake's little woodcut illustrations for Thornton's edition of The Pastorals of Virgil, conveying an intense mystical apprehension of divinity informing nature. The title comes from Psalm 65; the reclining figure has been connected with Bunyan's Christian, resting half-way up the Hill Difficulty, in The Pilgrim's Progress. [Purchased in 1941. WA1941.103]
The drawings by Samuel Palmer can be viewed in the Print Room.