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Samuel Palmer, 1805–1881, British, active in Italy (1837–39)
The Lonely Tower
Watercolor, gouache and gum arabic on London board: a high-quality pasteboard sheet made of Whatman's finest drawing paper
Sheet: 20 1/4 x 27 7/8 inches (51.4 x 70.8 cm) and Frame: 25 1/8 x 32 3/4 x 3 inches (63.8 x 83.2 x 7.6 cm)

Inscribed in artist's hand on label on back in pen and brown ink center left: "No:1 | The Lonely Tower | "Or let my lamp, at midnight hour, | Be seen in some high lonely tower, | Where I may oft outwatch the Bear, | With thice great Hermes." | Samuel Palmer"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawings & Watercolors
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
astronomy | cave | Classical | figures | landscape | light | poem | prehistoric | roots | science | sheep | shepherd | shepherd | standing stones | stars | stones | sunset | time | tower (building division) | trees
Associated Places:
England | Europe | Stonehenge | United Kingdom | Wiltshire
Associated People:
Milton, John (1608–1674), poet and polemicist
Accessible by request in the Study Room [Request]
Note: As a COVID-19 precaution, the Study Room is closed until further notice.
Exhibition History:
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Samuel Palmer - Paintings and Etchings to Illustrate Virgil and Milton (Victoria and Albert Museum, 1978-11-22 - 1979-05-06)

Works of Splendor and Imagination - The Exhibition Watercolor 1770-1870 (Yale Center for British Art, 1981-09-16 - 1981-11-22)

The Great Age of British Watercolors c.1750 - 1880 (National Gallery of Art, 1993-05-02 - 1993-07-25)

The Great Age of British Watercolors c.1750 - 1880 (Royal Academy of Arts, 1993-01-15 - 1993-07-25)

Samuel Palmer 1805-1881 Vision and Landscape (British Museum, 2005-10-21 - 2006-01-22)

Samuel Palmer 1805-1881 Vision and Landscape (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2006-03-07 - 2006-05-28)

Connections (Yale Center for British Art, 2011-05-26 - 2011-09-11)

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Rachel Campbell-Johnston, Mysterious wisdom, the life and work of Samuel Palmer , Bloomsbury, London; New York, 2011, pp. 305, 307, NJ18 P19 C36 2011 (YCBA)

David Ebony, Samuel Palmer's Luminous Garden, Art in America, vol. 94, no. 9, October 2006, p. 209, N1 A43 (LC)+ Oversize (HAAS) Some volumes are also available Online (ORBIS)

Simon Jenkins, Skip the Secular Rituals of the Turner Prize for a Real Radical, The british Museum's Exhibition of the Painter Samuel Palmer is an Exhilarating Vision of Archaic Beauty , Guardian (Manchester, England), October 31, 2005, see below, Film AN M312 (SML) Also Available Online (Factiva)

Katharine Jordan Lochnan, Drawing attention, selected works on paper from the Renaissance to modernism : Art Gallery of Ontario , London New York, 2008, p. 125?, fig. 1, NC27.T6 D73 2008 + (YCBA)

David Ross (RBM), Critical companion to William Butler Yeats, a literary reference to his life and work , Facts On File, New York, 2009, pp. 197-200, PR5906 YCBA did not retain in collection; Offered to SML

William Vaughan, Samuel Palmer : shadows on the wall, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, New Haven, 2015, pp. 334,335,336,338,341,359-60, fig. 279, NJ18.P19 V37 2015 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

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