Samuel Palmer. 'The Timber Wain', 1833-4. Yale Centre for British Art. Newhaven, USA. Reproduced from Google Art Project.


Samuel Palmer and the English Pastoral

  • Begins: Tuesday 8 October 2019
    Until: Wednesday 9 October 2019
    (6 pm)
  • The Art Workers' Guild, 6 Queen Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AT
  • Lecturer: Malcolm Andrews

This lecture takes an opening look at the English pastoral tradition in verse and painting, and then concentrates on Palmer’s development of the genre, in the moonlit valleys of Kent’s Shoreham village and then more broadly in his later life in drawings and paintings. He created some of the most beautiful pastoral idylls in English painting and was a passionate lover of England’s landscapes. Writing from Italy he dreamt of the return home: ‘we shall together thread the garden’d labyrinths of Kent, and on the thymy downs, by twilight, listen to the distant shepherd’s pipes or village bells.’

The lecture will be fully illustrated with examples from Palmer’s work.


Malcolm Andrews is Emeritus Professor at the University of Kent, and Editor of The Dickensian (the journal of the Dickens Fellowship). He has published books on Dickens and also on landscape in literature and the visual arts. The latter includes The Search for the Picturesque: Landscape Aesthetics and Tourism in Britain 1760-1800 (1989); Landscape and Western Art (Oxford History of Art Series (1999); and, currently near completion, A Sweet View: Picturesque Landscape in Nineteenth-Century England (Reaktion Books, 2020/21).


No booking required