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Samuel Palmer. 1805-1881.

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The Herdsman's Cottage, or, Sunset. 1888. Etching. Lister 3.ii. Image 3 7/8 x 3; plate 4 7/8 x 4; sheet 16 7/8 x 11 1/8). As published in, The Portfolio, 1872. Illustrated: Print Collector's Quarterly 3 (1913): 213. Printed on the full sheet of cream laid paper, with deckle edges on three sides. With the etched initials in the lower margin, as published. $1,750.

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The Willow. 1850. Etching. Lister 1.ii/iv. 4 5/8 x 3 3/16. First published state, as issued by the artist's son, A. H. Palmer, in The Life and Letters of Samuel Palmer, Painter and Etcher. London: Seeley, 1892. First edition. Octavo, origal gilt-pictorial and lettered blue cloth. Frontispiece portrait, and 22 plates, including the original etching The Willow executed in 1850 for his admission to the Etching Club. This book served as the catalogue raisonné until Lister's catalogue. A scarce book complete with the etching. Light foxing on the etching, outside the image. $1,250.

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The Eclogues of Virgil. An English Version.

Samuel Palmer had planned a series of ten etched illustrations to accompany the publication of his translation of An English Version of the Eclogues of Virgil. By the time of his death in 1881, only one etching -- Opening the Fold -- had been completed. Palmer's projected series of etchings for Virgil's Eclogues was unfinished at his death. Only Opening the Fold was finished and independently published (by the Fine Art Society in 1880) before he died. Palmer had begun work on another four uniformly smaller plates. A H Palmer completed these, and with the addition of heliogravure facsimiles of some of the other preliminary drawings, had his father’s illustrated translation published by Seeley & Company in 1883 and 1884. An unlettered folio edition was issued, preliminary to a lettered quarto version on laid paper, both in 1883. In 1884 Seeley published the standard lettered quarto edition printed on wove paper.

The Homeward Star. 1883. Etching. Lister 14.ii/iv. Image 3 15/16 x 5 15/16; plate 5 1/4 x 7 3/8; sheet 8 x 12 1/4. As issued, with lettering, in the second (small paper) edition An English Version of the Eclogues of Virgil The plate was commenced by Samuel Palmer and finished after his death by his son, A.H. Palmer, and issued 1883. A rich, tonal impression printed on cream wove paper. Signed in the plate. $950.

The Sepulchre. 1883. Original etching by Samuel Palmer, completed by his son. Lister 16 ii/iv. Image 3 15/16 x 5 15/16; plate 5 3 16 x 7 3/8; sheet 8 x 12 1/4. As issued, with lettering, in the second (small paper) edition An English Version of the Eclogues of Virgil. The plate was commenced by Samuel Palmer and finished after his death by his son, A.H. Palmer, and issued 1883. A rich, tonal impression printed on cream wove paper. Signed in the plate. $500.

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Moeris and Galatea. 1883. Original etching by Samuel Palmer, completed by his son. Lister 17 ii/iii. Image 3 15/16 x 5 15/16; plate 5 3/16 x 7 3/8; sheet 8 x 12 1/4. As issued, with lettering, in the second (small paper) edition An English Version of the Eclogues of Virgil. The plate was commenced by Samuel Palmer and finished after his death by his son, A.H. Palmer, and issued 1883. A rich, tonal impression printed on cream wove paper. Signed in the plate. $650.

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The son of a bookseller, Samuel Palmer began painting at the age of thirteen. One year later he exhibited at the Royal Academy. In 1826 he moved to the remote village of Shoreham in Kent where he and such fellow artists as George Richmond and Edward Calvert formed the group now known as 'The Ancients'. Inspired by the poetry of Virgil and Milton and, most particularly by the writings and art of William Blake (whom Samuel Palmer first met in 1824), these artists produced some of the greatest pastoral imagery in the history of British art. Partly because he lived in somewhat isolated conditions and partly because his work was anything but 'Victorian' in both style and temperament, the art of Samuel Palmer was not fully appreciated during his life. In the early twentieth century, however, Samuel Palmer's watercolours and most specifically his etchings came to the forefront. Championed by such scholars and artists as Martin Hardie, Lawrence Binyon, Sir Frank Short, F. L. Griggs, William Larkins, Paul Nash and Graham Sutherland, Palmer has now taken his place as a most important figure in English nineteenth century art.

Samuel Palmer began his first etching in 1850. The same year he was elected to the Etching Club. He completed only seventeen works of art in this medium for which now he is most famous. Of etching Palmer wrote, "It is my misfortune to work slowly, not from any wish to niggle, but because I cannot otherwise get certain shimmerings of light, and mysteries of shadow; so that only a pretty good price would yield a journeyman's wages." * Thus financial necessity drove Samuel Palmer to dedicate more time to watercolours than to etching.

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Allinson Gallery Index.

British Fine Prints.

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