Samuel Palmer

The Gleaning Field

c.1833

On display at Tate Britain

Medium
Tempera on mahogany
Dimensions
Support: 305 x 454 mm
frame: 439 x 592 x 62 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Bequeathed by Mrs Louisa Mary Garrett 1936
Reference
N04842

Display caption

Samuel Palmer’s vision of the landscape was shaped by his friendship with the older poet and artist William Blake (1757–1827). Blake’s words in Milton are those of a prophet waiting for liberty and peace to reign: ‘I will not cease from Mental Fight, Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand: Till we have built Jerusalem, In England’s green & pleasant Land.’ This picture shows a scene after harvesting has finished. Palmer, a devout Christian, created images of ‘England’s green & pleasant Land’ that contrasted with the harsher contemporary reality of change and social unrest in the countryside.

Gallery label, February 2016

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