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Samuel Palmer, 1805–1881, British, active in Italy (1837–39)

The Weald of Kent

between 1833 and 1834
Watercolor and gouache on moderately thick, rough, cream wove paper
Sheet: 7 3/8 x 10 5/8 inches (18.7 x 27 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawings & Watercolors
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
autumn | branches | fields | hedges | landscape | leaves (plant materials) | trees
Associated Places:
England | Europe | Kent | United Kingdom
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The present watercolor is one of three related views of the Weald of Kent that Palmer produced probably in the summer of 1833 or 1834. The other two are “The Timber Wain” (Paul Mellon Collection, ycba) and “The Golden Valley” (Michael and Judy Steinhardt Collection, New York). Both “The Weald of Kent” and “The Timber Wain” enclose almost the same distant prospect within the trunk and branches of a massive oak. This view has recently been identified as Underriver as seen from Carter's Hill (Vaughan et al., 2005., p. 155). In 1832 Palmer purchased a house in London and over the next few years spent less time in Shoreham. In “The Weald of Kent” and its two companion watercolors, the artist seems to be looking back from a distance on the Kentish countryside and taking leave of the intimate pastoral landscape that had heretofore been the heart of his artistic life.

John Baskett, Paul Mellon's Legacy: a Passion for British Art: Masterpieces from the Yale Center for British Art, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, pp. 295-96, no. 113, pl. 113, N5220 M552 P38 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Jonathan Mayne, Taste in Water-Colour, Apollo, v. 77, no. 14, April 1963, pp. 290, 292, fig. 3, N1 A54 + (YCBA) Second copy available in Vertical File : V1168

Painting in England 1700-1850, collection of Mr. & Mrs. Paul Mellon. , Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, 1963, intro. p. 12, p. 104, no. 189, ND466 V57 v.1-2 (YCBA)

Sotheby's sale catalogue : Catalogue of fine paintings and drawings of the English school : 30 November 1960, Sotheby's, London, November 30, 1960, p. 17 and opposite p. 17, lot 63, Auction catalogues (YCBA)

William Vaughan, Samuel Palmer : shadows on the wall, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, New Haven, 2015, pp, 136, 137, 211, fig. 113, NJ18.P19 V37 2015 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

William Vaughan, Samuel Palmer, 1805-1881 : vision and landscape, , British Museum Press, London, 2005, p. 155, no. 83, fig. 83, Nj18 P19 V38 2005 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

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