Samuel Palmer Rustic Artist
Samuel Palmer (1805-81) makes me think or warm summer meadows, lazy days and the rustic rich
life in the countryside. His work has been in my mind a little after all the walking I’ve been lucky to do
whilst the sun has been so glorious. I decided to find out a little more about him.
He was one of Britain’s greatest artists. He painted familiar scenes using trees, villages, the night sky
as his subjects also using rich forms and vivid colours. It’s still surprising to see that his work looks
so bold and modern even though they were painted nearly two centuries ago.
He became an artist at a young age and was strongly influenced throughout his career by the work of
his friend and mentor William Blake. Palmer’s early work was partly shaped by his interest in the
primitive’ artists of the fifteenth and sixteenth century. For a time, he lived in the Kent village of
Shoreham, whose surrounding countryside became his ‘Valley of Vision’.
After this he married and spent time in Italy.
Following his return to London he worked in watercolour and took up etching. Sadly in his later years,
Palmer suffered a series of personal hardships – including the death of his favourite son and ended
his life living as a recluse.
I think the above etchings are some of his favourite work of mine. The way he skilfully plays with both
light and nature, whilst portraying such form and depth in his layered landscapes makes me sigh in a
happy, but kind of envious way lol. I’ve enlarged the one below called ‘Early Morning’ painted in 1825,
to show his wonderful command and understanding of his line, medium and subject matter.