The Flock and the Star by Samuel Palmer
In 1832 the British artist and writer Samuel Palmer exhibited a series of monochrome drawings at the Royal Academy in London, and it is likely that this work was included in the display. The landscape is still and calm except for a lamb in the foreground feeding enthusiastically to the accompaniment of a shepherd's pipe.
Much of the composition has been made by scratching areas out with a knife or pen nib, so that the white of the drawings seems to appear from out of the black, the opposite of the usual effect. Brown inks on the drawing also suggest that a very different work was begun on this sheet.
Samuel Palmer was introduced to the elderly William Blake in the autumn of 1824, and the meeting had an enormous effect on Palmer. Having previously produced conventional and picturesque views in London and the surrounding area, Palmer now began to work in the ‘visionary’ style that would characterise his art for the next ten years.
The Flock and the Star, c.1831–32
Samuel Palmer (1805–1881)
Pen and brush in India ink over indications in graphite and brown ink on white card