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Samuel Palmer

1805 – 1881

The Rising Moon <i>or</i> An English Pastoral by Samuel Palmer

The Rising Moon or An English Pastoral   1857

  Original etching.
Signed with initials in the plate.
Ref: Lister 7 vii/ix
S 170 x 241 mm; P 147 x 220 mm; I 117 x 189 mm
Original Samuel Palmer etching.

Beautiful impression of the completed image, as published in Etchings for the Art Union of London by the Etching Club in 1857 and with the plate number (10). The plate for this etching is known to have been destroyed by 1882.

The Rising Moon or An English Pastoral was larger than any of the previous subjects which Palmer had etched. The image contains elements from his Shoreham period and from his Italian honeymoon, the cypresses recalling the artist’s drawings of those at Villa d’Este.

It was the fleeting nuances of light found in this elaborate work which fascinated Palmer, making etching his favourite branch of art. Samuel Palmer’s etchings were not the result of rapid and direct sketching from nature, but were the product of long and painstaking effort and experiment. To him the charm of etching was “the glimmering through of the white paper even in the shadows so that almost everything either sparkles or suggests sparkle”. To achieve this effect and the luminosity which he so loved, Palmer employed a highly personal printmaking technique using a dense web of finely etched lines through which the white of the paper is allowed to sparkle in a thousand tiny dots, the density of this web and the resulting dots creating an infinite tonal range. The quality of his workmanship in this respect remains unsurpassed.

Samuel Palmer exhibited an impression of this etching at the Royal Academy of Arts in 1865 under the title of Evening Pastures.

On India paper applied to original warm white wove backing sheet, with margins of about 1 cm beyond the platemark on all sides. One slight disturbance in the India paper sheet towards the lower edge of the image crossing the blank margin of the India sheet, otherwise excellent condition.