• In the Chequered Shade -

    Signed lower right: S. PALMER/1861

    Watercolour over pencil heightened with bodycolour and gum arabic

    20.2 by 43.2 cm., 8 by 17 inches



    With Walker?s Galleries, 11 New Bond St, London, 1952;

    Acquired by a private collector;

    By descent until 2010



    Raymond Lister, Catalogue Raisonn? of the Works of Samuel Palmer, 1988, p.189, no.586 as untraced



    London, Society of Painters in Water-colours, 1861, no.133;

    London, Walker?s Galleries, 48th Annual Exhibition of Early English Water-Colours, 30th June 1952, no.85, as ?Noon ? Resting Time?


    The title of this watercolour is taken from Milton?s ?L?Allegro?, line 96. John Milton (1608-1674) was a constant influence on Palmer throughout his life and his work is filled with references to images found in Milton?s poetry. He first encountered Milton?s work when his nurse Mary Ward gave him a copy of his poetry in 1829. It was not until 1863 however that Palmer produced a series of illustrations to Milton?s poetry at the instigation of the solicitor Leonard Valpy who commissioned them. These illustrations occupied him for the rest of his life and he wrote to Valpy about them a few months before his death in February 1881. They were published posthumously by his son A.H. Palmer. Palmer depicts a woman carrying an urn of water on her head to the right with a hunting party chasing a stag with attendant dogs `in the chequered shade? to the left. The high viewpoint looking down on an Italianate landscape and the combination of light and shade is typical of Palmer?s work of the period.


    We are grateful to Colin Harrison for his help in cataloguing this watercolour.

  • View on the Devon Coast -

    Watercolour over pencil heightened with touches of bodycolour

    18.7 by 26.9 cm., 7 ¼ by 10 ½ in.



    By descent from the artist to Alfred Herbert Palmer (1853-1931), his sale, Christie’s, 24th May 1909, lot 115 (part);

    F.M. and E. Redgrave, their sale, Christie’s, 29th June 1932, lot 119, bt. Meatyard;

    Dr Samuel Nazeby Harrington (d. 1934);

    By descent to his son Sir Nazeby Harrington (1891-1951);

    By descent until 2013



    Raymond Lister, Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of Samuel Palmer, 1988, p.167, no.482 as `Untraced since 1932’



    London, Victoria and Albert Museum, An Exhibition of Drawings, Etchings and Woodcuts by Samuel Palmer and other disciples of William Blake, 1926, no. 104


    Palmer visited Devon in July and August of 1848 and again in June and July of 1849 and the present watercolour is likely to date from one of these trips. Apart from the Italian sketches executed on his honeymoon, watercolours drawn directly from nature are comparatively rare in Palmer’s oeuvre. Martin Hardie describes how Palmer captured the ‘heaped up richness’ of North Devon’s dramatic rock formations and magical light.


  • The Campagna and Aqueducts of Rome -

    Watercolour over pencil heightened with bodycolour and gum arabic

    14.6 by 40.2 cm., 7 by 15 ¾ in.



    With Graves Art Gallery, Birmingham;

    Anonymous sale, Christie’s, 14th November 1967, lot 132;

    H.T. Worton, his sale, Sotheby’s, 10th July 1980, lot 178;

    Anonymous sale, Christie’s, 20th November 1984, lot 116



    Raymond Lister, Samuel Palmer: His Life and Art, 1987, p. 131;

    Raymond Lister, Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of Samuel Palmer, 1988, no. 381, p. 142, ill.



    London, Society of Painters in Water-colours, 1843, no.312


    This watercolour which dates from 1843 is based on sketches executed on Palmer’s honeymoon trip to Italy from 1837 to 1839. On 30th September 1837, he married Hannah Linnell, the eldest of the artist John Linnell’s nine children and on 4th October they set off for Italy reaching Rome in mid November. They stayed in Rome until May 1838 and again from January to May 1839 before returning home. This is drawn in what Palmer called his favoured `little long’ format which he adopted on his return from Italy
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