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An afternoon of talks exploring the life and work of one of Britain’s greatest artists with world experts, all authors of works on Palmer
SATURDAY 2 AUGUST, 1.30-5.30pm
Chepstow Museum is bringing together leading experts on the life and work of one ofBritain’s greatest artists, Samuel Palmer (1805-81). The afternoon of talks is being held in association with the exhibition Sites of Inspiration, Tintern Abbey, now running at the Museum, which includes three watercolours that he made from a tour to the Wye Valley in 1835.
Palmer became an artist at an early age – at 14 he had exhibited at the British Institution, sold a landscape and had three works hung in the Royal Academy. At 17 he met the artist John Linnell, later to become his father-in-law, who guided and mentored him and introduced him to William Blake, who influenced his work throughout his life. Palmer became the leader of a group of young artists called the ‘Ancients’ who gathered round painter and poet William Blake at the end of his life. During the 1820s Palmer went to live in the Kentvillage of Shoreham, which he called ‘Valley of Vision’ and it was here, living together with fellow Ancients, that he produced some of his most celebrated romantic landscapes combining visionary imagery with a highly detailed study of nature. It was when he left Shoreham that he went on travels to Wales and the Wye Valleyand after marrying Hannah Linnell, to Italy.
Palmer’s life and the influences upon it, his own soul searching and spirituality, his relationship and attitudes to rural life shaped his work. The three speakers at this event, all authors of books on Palmer’s life and work, will trace it through his career and follow its development and changes throughout his eventful life.
William Vaughan, Professor Emeritus in History of Art at Birkbeck College, University of London, who was principal curator of the Bicentenary exhibition of Samuel Palmer held at the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in 2005 and author of a monograph on Palmer that will be published by Yale University Press in 2015 (‘Shadows on the Wall’; The Art of Samuel Palmer) will talk about ‘ Samuel Palmer: The Visionary Years’ looking at Palmer’s early career as artist (c.1819-33) when he was inspired by Blake and Medieval Art to develop a dramatic and highly individual way of depicting landscape.
Colin Harrison, Senior Curator of European Art, The Ashmolean, Oxford, will talk about the next phase of Palmer’s life ‘Expanding Horizons: Palmer’s Travels in the 1830s‘ when the artist travelled extensively from 1835 onwards, to the West Country, Wales and the Wye Valley, and Italy. The talk will examine his search for new subjects and a less unconventional technique that would make his work more appealing to collectors.
Timothy Wilcox, who is a leading authority on British watercolours and has held curatorial posts at the British Museum and V&A, will look at Palmer’s later life and work. ‘Paradise Regained ? Samuel Palmer’s late work’ Palmer devoted most of his final two decades to watercolours based on Milton and Virgil. While they are a summation of all that had gone before; Timothy Wilcox will considers whether as well as looking back, do they also address the present or even the future?
To book your place on this afternoon contact Chepstow Museum 01291 625981
Tickets £10, £7.50 concessions