Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Feature: Samuel Palmer

Garden in Shoreham by Samuel Palmer
The saddest part of the story of the artist Samuel Palmer's life is that his son destroyed his personal writings and notebooks after his death.  I have to wonder if Palmer would be more well known today if this desecration had not occurred.  He was a mystical landscape painter who was greatly influenced by William Blake.  We can only speculate on those lost philosophical writings.

The visions of the soul, being perfect, are the only true standard by which nature must be tried.
-Samuel Palmer

Interesting... from this quote I deduce that Palmer viewed the soul of man and the natural world as separate, the natural world being of lower form.  Why then did he focus so much on landscape art?   At any rate I tend to view our natural reactions to be of a higher level and more in tune with the core of our souls, but that is perhaps the transcendentalist influence of my background.

Oak Trees in Lullingstone Park by Samuel Palmer

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. 
-Samuel Palmer

Moonlight by Samuel Palmer

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