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Samuel Palmer was the most important of Blake’s followers, known as the Ancients. Palmer first met Blake in 1824. He described these illustrations to an imitation of the First Eclogue by the Roman poet Virgil as ‘visions of little dells, and nooks, and corners of Paradise’. Palmer’s art  was particularly influenced by them.

These prints appealed to the Ancients because they were the result of Blake’s experiments with a new medium; he had never engraved on wood before. Even at the age of sixty-four he wanted to make further explorations in his art.

August 2004