Samuel Palmer Biography | Oil Painting Reproductions

1-27-1805 London, ENG – 5-24-1881 Surrey, ENG

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Palmer, Samuel

Samuel Palmer was born in London, the son of an eccentric bookseller, Palmer revealed his artistic talent at a very early age. In 1819, aged just 14, he exhibited at the Royal Academy and the British Institution, selling a painting at the latter. Three years later he met the painter John Linnell, who gave him some instruction. More importantly, perhaps, Linnell also introduced Samuel Palmer to William Blake, a meeting which only served to intensify the youngsters' mystical outlook.

In 1824, the same year as his encounter with Blake, Palmer started painting at Shoreham in Kent. In this rural retreat, Palmer began to produce the strange, pastoral idylls, which made his name. Using nothing more than ink and a sepia wash, he conjured up a worldly paradise, stacked with dozing shepherds, carefree animals, and luxuriant foliage.

In 1826, Samuel Palmer settled in Shoreham, he purchased a run-down cottage, nicknamed "Rat Abbey", and lived there from 1826 to 1835, depicting the area as a semi-paradise, mysterious and visionary. He was soon joined by a group of like-minded artists, who came to be known as the Ancients. Sadly, Palmer's period of poetic inspiration was short lived. By the mid-1830s, his paintings had become disappointingly conventional, although his etchings retained some of his earlier, lyrical power.

Samuel Palmer was largely forgotten after his death. In 1909, many of his Shoreham works were destroyed by his surviving son Alfred Herbert Palmer, who burnt them. It wasn't until 1926 that Palmer's rediscovery began through a show at the Victoria & Albert Museum. But it took until the early 1950s for his reputation to recover.

Art Movement History: Romanticism, The Ancients
Artists Influencing Palmer: William Blake, John Linnell, Edward Calvert
He Traveled To Italy

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