Near Underriver, Sevenoaks, Kent
Samuel Palmer, British, Near Underriver, Sevenoaks, Kent, ca. 1843, Watercolor and opaque watercolor applied with brush, and ink and pen; 27.3 x 38.4 cm (10 11/16 x 15 1/8 inches), Anonymous gift 69.154.13
Samuel Palmer was inspired early on by the preeminent landscapes of J.M.W. Turner (1775 - 1851) and the visionary work of William Blake (1757 - 1827). Many of Palmer’s most innovative landscapes were created between 1824 and 1830, when he was working with a group of like-minded artists called the Ancients in Shoreham, near Sevenoaks, Kent. Bolstered by the Romantics’ appreciation of the natural landscape as a refuge from the siege of modern advances, the Ancients saw in nature visible proof of the divine. This drawing is a subtle variant of one of Palmer’s deeply poetic works from his Shoreham period. Here, his magical sky and densely detailed vista perfectly balance the loosely rendered, earthy, foreground vegetation.