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Samuel Palmer, inspired by Blake's Virgil wood engravings, described them as 'like the drawing aside of the fleshly curtain, and the glimpse which all the most holy, studious saints and sages have enjoyed of the rest which remaineth to the people of God.' Sutherland's few etchings inspired by Palmer present landscape with the same sense of religious ecstasy. In this work the conjunction of the star and a dazzling sun show Sutherland enlarging the idea of simple vision into a visionary act by inviting the viewer to contemplate these heavenly bodies, just as Palmer had done.

September 2004