Palmer drew this about five years after he first met Blake. It shows the strong influence of Blake’s illustrations to Thornton’s Virgil, displayed nearby. There is a similar contrast of dark and light, though handled more broadly.
This drawing is also an evocation of the English pastoral vision, which complements Blake’s idea of England as a country where Jerusalem would one day have been ‘builded’. The peaceful walk to the church is flanked by wheat sheaves – a symbol of the Last Judgement, when the good are gathered into God’s heaven.
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Samuel Palmer (...)