Friday, January 20, 2006

Samuel Palmer

I just went to the Samuel Palmer show at the British Museum. Absolutely wonderful. If you haven't seen it, sorry. It finishes tomorrow.

I've loved Samuel Palmer for years. I used to look at the Magic Apple Tree (pictured) at the Fitzwilliam Museum whenever I could at Cambridge. I never knew what a prodigy he was - founded The Ancients at the age of 19 - and I never knew his melancholy later work. And I never knew he was yet another South London resident - he lived off the Old Kent Road for a time.

There aren't many artists who can take such a personal take on landscape and communicate it to you in art. He's in a line from Durer through Blake to Stanley Spencer, and...

The sun was shining, and the clouds looked very Palmer-esque, with flocks of birds wheeling across the sinking sun. On the way home, the bus took us past the homes of Blake and Van Gogh, in Hercules Road and Hackford Road.

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