Samuel Palmer – Letter No1

Out of stock

Autographed (unpublished) letter to George Richmond R.A. Provenance: By descent in the Richmond family.


Furze Hill June 25/1867
My dear Richmond,
Accept my best congratulations on your Oxford diploma, may you live long to enjoy this and other distinctions, past and to come. Dr. Acland most kindly asked me to come there and witness the ceremony but we were engaged and unable to do so and I begin to fear that I shall never see Oxford again. To be as you are, her adopted son is a distinction than which life has few better to offer. Fresh from the classic Isis, may you be visited by some wholesome pange of compunction for having, about a forthight ago thrown several stones at the swat swan of Twickenham, and having had a good cry over it, may that be the last sorrow of your life, Pray don’t answer this; I can’t bear to give friends the trouble, but with love & congratulations to Mrs Richmond.
Believe me ever yours affectionately,
George Richmond Esq R.A.

Additional information

Letter (folded)

17.8 cm x 11.3 cm.


Palmer, Samuel (1805-1881)

Palmer became an artist at an early age, at 14 he had exhibited at the British Institution, sold a landscape and had three works hung in the Royal Academy. At 17 he met the artist John Linnell, later to become his father in-law, who guided and mentored him and introduced him to William Blake, who influenced his work throughout his life. Palmer became the leader of a group of young artists called the 'Ancients', his good friend George Richmond was also a member. During the 1820s Palmer went to live in the Kent village of Shoreham, which he called ‘Valley of Vision’ and it was here, living together with fellow Ancients, that he produced some of his most celebrated romantic landscapes combining visionary imagery with a highly detailed study of nature. It was when he left Shoreham that he went on his travels to Wales and the Wye Valley and after marrying Hannah Linnell, to Italy. Palmer’s spirituality, his relationship and attitudes to rural life shaped his work. His personal life was marred with tragedy and turmoil. He had 3 children with his wife, daughter of John Linnell, only one of which survived. Palmer was distraught after the death of his eldest son at 19, and never fully recovered, blaming himself for pushing his son too much. Palmer’s relationship with Linnell became strained due to their differences over religion and politics and resentment over his continued financial support. Palmer received little critical attention during his lifetime but posthumously has been more widely recognised. His work featured in ‘Watercolour’, an exhibition at Tate Britain (Feb-Aug 2011).