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This painting illustrates a story from James Thomson’s popular poems The Seasons 1726–30.

The rural lovers Palemon and Lavinia appear in Thomson’s Autumn; they are adapted from the Biblical story of Ruth and Boaz. Palemon, a gentleman, professes his love for the country girl Lavinia, in a harvest-time setting. Thomson’s sentimental fantasy of rural romance was particularly attractive to a generation brought up on the ideals of Sensibility.  

September 2004