Samuel Palmer

The Bright Cloud

c.1833–4

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Medium
Ink and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 229 x 305 mm
frame: 598 x 447 x 25 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Hugh Blaker through the Art Fund 1917
Reference
N03312

Display caption

Palmer studied clouds for their picturesque qualities. Unlike the artist John Constable he did not go 'skying' as a way of capturing particular meteorological effects which could then be used to inform the overall mood of his landscape paintings. In a letter of 1828 to his friend John Linnell he wrote: 'Nor must be forgotten the motley clouding, the fine meshes, the aerial tissues that dapple the skies of spring; nor the rolling volumes and piled mountains of light.' He saw in the treatment of clouds in Linnell's own paintings 'how the elements of nature may be transmitted into the pure Gold of Art.'

Gallery label, September 2004

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