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Samuel Palmer

British landscape painter, etcher and printmaker
Samuel Palmer

Samuel Palmer (January 27, 1805May 24, 1881) was an English landscape painter, etcher, printmaker and writer. He was a key figure in English Romanticism and produced visionary pastoral paintings.

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  • It seems to me the charm of etching is the glimmering through of the white paper even in the shadows so that almost everything sparkles or suggest sparkles.
    • Letter to Thomas Oldham Barlow (1876), from The Letters of Samuel Palmer, ed. Raymond Lister (Oxford, 1974)
  • Rural poetry is the pleasure ground of those who live in cities.
    • Introduction to Palmer's translation of Virgil's Eclogues
  • When less than four years old I was standing with my nurse, Mary Ward, watching the shadows on the wall from branches of an elm behind which the moon had risen. I have never forgot those shadows and am often trying to paint them.
    • The Life and Letters of Samuel Palmer, Painter and Etcher (AH Palmer, London, 1892)
  • I hope to begin a new plan... not sitting down to local matter but walking and watching.
    • The Life and letters of Samuel Palmer, Painter and Etcher (AH Palmer, London, 1892)
  • The "rights of man" are the right of the less voracious to restrain those who are more so.
    • Letter to the Rev. J.P. Wright (1879), from The Life and letters of Samuel Palmer, Painter and Etcher (AH Palmer, London, 1892)
  • The rights of the poor majority are pure air and pure water, and sufficient space to walk about in, when the rich minority are befouling the air with manufactories, poisoning the rivers, and as in the neighborhood of Foots Cray and St. Mary's, adding "field to field, till there be no place" left, and the villagers cannot step out of the dusty high-road without a trespass..
    • Letter to the Rev. J.P. Wright (1879), from The Life and letters of Samuel Palmer, Painter and Etcher (AH Palmer, London, 1892)
  • I don't suffer much from solitude in the evenings. I spring upon my books. I always spoke a good word for solitude, and it is grateful to me. Books ward off the ghastly thoughts.
    • The Life and letters of Samuel Palmer, Painter and Etcher (AH Palmer, London, 1892)
  • It seems to me that a great secret of early education is not to overrate the powers of attention in children. If they go to a church for instance, where there are long sermons, I should let them have scripture history, or lives of the Saints full of pictures, to be administered during the latter half of the discourse, rather than knuckle their ribs or prick them with pins, to make them "attend to what the gentleman says."
    • The Life and letters of Samuel Palmer, Painter and Etcher (AH Palmer, London, 1892)

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