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Landscape with the Repose of the Holy Family
Photo credit: Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Landscape with the Repose of the Holy Family 1824–1825

Samuel Palmer (1805–1881)

The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology

(b London, 27 Jan. 1805; d Redhill, Surrey, 24 May. 1881). English landscape painter (mainly in watercolour) and etcher. He was precocious, first exhibiting at the Royal Academy when he was only 14. In 1822 he met John Linnell, who introduced him to William Blake in 1824. Palmer had had visionary experiences from childhood and the effect of Blake upon him was to intensify his inherent mystical leanings. In 1826 he moved to Shoreham, near Sevenoaks, Kent, a village he had discovered about two years earlier, when his poor health obliged him to spend time outside London. There he became the central figure of the group of Blake-inspired artists known as the Ancients and produced what are now his most famous works—small, almost monochromatic landscapes in watercolour or ink, charged with a sense of pantheistic fecundity and other-worldly beauty (The Valley Thick with Corn, 1825, Ashmolean Mus.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)


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